Personification In The Most Dangerous Game
What are some examples of personification in "The Most Dangerous Game"?
When we personify something, we give it human characteristics. For example, if I said, "The flower stretched toward the sun's rays," we are giving the flower the characteristic of "stretching," a word normally used for human beings. Personification is a figurative language technique used to make writing more descriptive and interesting.
In "The Most Dangerous Game," author Richard Connell uses personification throughout. On the very first page he uses it to describe the evening heat.
"'Can't see it,' remarked Rainsford, trying to peer through the dank tropical night that was palpable as it pressed its thick warm blackness in upon the yacht" (Connell 1).
The night can't really "press" its blackness. Connell is personifying the night here.
A little later Whitney asks Rainsford if he has noticed that "the crew's nerves seemed a bit jumpy today" (Connell 1). Again, nerves don't really jump. Jumpy is a word we sometimes use to express the state of being nervous.
After Whitney retires to bed, Rainsford is left alone on the deck of the ship. Connell describes the night once again using personification. "The sensuous drowsiness of the night was on him" (Connell 2) Drowsiness is a human trait he is using for the darkness.
When Rainsford falls overboard and after swimming vigorously for some time reaches the shore, he is happy to hear a particular sound.
"Ten minutes of determined effort brought another sound to his ears--the most welcome he had ever heard--the muttering and growling of the sea breaking on a rocky shore" (Connell 3)
Here Connell describes the sea as "muttering." People mutter, and Connell chooses this particular word to personify the sea.
These are just a few examples of personification in "The Most Dangerous Game." If you read carefully, you will find many more!
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Personification is the giving of human characteristics to non-human/non-living things. An example of personification is: the wind screams at me. Here, the wind is given the capability to scream at the speaker. Wind cannot scream and, therefore, it is personified.
In Richard Connell's short story, The Most Dangerous Game, there are many examples of personification.
1. "Trying to peer through the dank tropical night that was palpable as it pressed its thick warm blackness in upon the yacht" is an example of personification based upon the fact that the night is pressing itself (its warm thick blackness") on the yacht. Darkness cannot press itself upon something. Therefore, it is personified in the text.
2. "Who cares how a jaguar feels?" "Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney. Here, the jaguar is given the ability to care. This, therefore, is an example of personification based upon the fact that the jaguar is given (or assumed to possess) the ability to care.
3. "A sharp hunger was picking at him." This is another example of personification given that hunger is able to "pick" at Rainsford. Hunger cannot "pick" at someone. Therefore, it is personified by being given the ability to do so.
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Personification is a type of figurative language in which human qualities are given to non-human entities, such as animals, objects, or concepts. Authors use this literary tool to enliven their writing and represent moods and ideas in easily understood ways. Personification abounds in The Most Dangerous Game. Here are some examples:
1. The first use of personification occurs when Rainsford and Whitney discuss Ship-Trap Island at the beginning of the story. Rainsford tries to peer through the night "as it pressed its thick warm blackness in upon the yacht." In this example, the intangible concept of night is given the human ability to press in upon the yacht. To the reader, this use of personification imbues the darkness with an imposing, spooky quality.
2. When Rainsford tumbles from the yacht into the sea, personification is used in the following way: "Ten minutes of determined effort brought another sound to his ears—the most welcome he had ever heard—the muttering and growling of the sea breaking on a rocky shore." Here, a non-living entity, the sea, is given the human ability to mutter. Personification is used in this instance to position the sea as an angry, frustrated opponent of Rainsford.
3. In Death Swamp, Rainsford encounters a patch of quicksand, which the writer states "sucked at his foot viciously." This, too, is an example of personification, as the inanimate quicksand is described not only as sucking at Rainsford's foot, but as performing this action viciously. Personification is used here to heighten the mood as Rainsford fights his way to safety, encountering increasingly formidable "enemies," such as this personified quicksand.