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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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Related to the title, "The Most Dangerous Game," on what simple ironic reversal is the plot of the story based?

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"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.

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