silhouette of a man with one eye open hiding in the jungle

The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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Ship Trap Island

Describe the features of Ship Trap Island in "The Most Dangerous Game."

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The reason General Zaroff has been so successful is because of the features of Ship Trap Island. They fit his needs perfectly. (I don't know if my page numbers will be the same as yours, but it should indicate where in the story you will find the quote - beginning, middle, or end.)

1. Dark: Rainsford can't see it when he is on the boat.  Other ships cannot also see it; therefore, Zaroff can guide them with his spotlight to the rocky shore to crash.  Rainsford says that it is "so dark I could sleep without closing my eyes." (pg 2).  The island is located in the Caribbean Sea.  If you have ever been out at sea at night, it would be totally dark except for the light of the moon.  The night Rainsford lands on the island is "moonless" (pg 1)

2. Rocky shore:  The first sound Rainsford hears of land is the crashing of waves on the rocky shore. When Zaroff shows Rainsford the light, he says that giant rocks with razor edges crush the ships.  He then rescues the men on the ship for his next quarry.

3. Cliffs: When Rainsford first lands on the island, he has to climb some cliffs to find flat land.  The house is also encircled on three sides with cliffs that "dive down to the sea" (pg. 3)

4. Dense Jungle: The dense jungle grew down to the edge of the cliffs and fringed the shore.  It is a "closely knit web of weeds and trees"  with no visible trails that is a maze of hills, and swamps.  It is alive with insects that bite at Rainsford "savagely". (pg 10)

5.Death Swamp: Before sending Rainsford out into the jungle, Zaroff warns him about the swamp.  It is located on the southeast corner of the island and has sections of quicksand that have already taken the life of a man and a dog.

6. Chateau: It is the enormous home of General Zaroff, the only bulding and the only source of light on the island. Located on a high bluff, it is surrounded on three sides by cliffs that "dive down to the sea". The entrance is guarded by a tall spiked iron gate. There is a cove between the house and the swamp.

7. Cove: There is a cove between the swamp and the chateau.  It is the cove that Rainsford dives into to escape General Zaroff.

8. Large: Whitney tells Rainsford in the first line that it is a "large" island.  But when Rainsford starts his run, he plows through brush for two hours before he realizes that he cannot make a straight trail but must make a trail of intricate loops.

9. Hot: Rainsford tells Whitney while they are on the boat, "This hot weather is making you soft." (pg 1)


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