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The tone of Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" is established in the opening dialogue between Rainsford and Whitney. (Tone is the attitude of the author toward the subject or the audience.) In this story, the tone is established through the choice of words. Word choice helps to establish a tone because words elicit emotion.
In the opening dialogue, Connell uses the following words which elicit very specific feelings: mystery, suggestive, curious, dread, superstition, dark, thick warm blackness, and moonless. These words tend to be associated with things which are frightening and "scary."
Therefore, once Rainsford falls off the ship, hears the gunfire, sees the large chateau, and meets Ivan and Zaroff, the tone has compounded. Readers know that the tone has been established for a reason and more fearsome and frightening things are to come.
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