"The Most Dangerous Game" is based on situational irony, which is a reversal of fortune that leads the protagonist and reader to a great truth. Situational irony is usually focused on plot, and it occurs when action backfires, causing very opposite of what is expected, a kind of poetic justice.
Here are a few examples of situational irony:
- In the story, a big game hunter lands on an island owned by another big game hunter.
- A hunter becomes a better hunter after he is hunted himself.
- The most dangerous game is when the hunter, who previously did not care how the hunted felt, becomes the hunted.
- A man looking to hunt the most dangerous game (prey), thinking it is an animal, realizes it is actually man himself who is the most dangerous.
- A hunter gains his greatest advantage over his opponent once he is closest to death (or at least after his opponent thinks he is dead).
- A hunter who uses dogs to track the hunted becomes, in the end, a tasty meal for them himself.