Is the principal emphasis on plot, character or theme?"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Indubitably, plot is the most important element of Richard Conell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game."  For, it is a gripping sequence of events that intrigue the reader of this very original narrative.  With the elements of subtle and ominous foreshadowing, gripping conflicts, exciting plot reversals and an emotive climax, the plot of Connell's story is superb.

With the foreshadowing of the old taciturn Norweigan captain of Rainsford's ship who has said, "This place has an evil name among seafaring men," a name like Ship-Trap Island, immediately aroses the curiosity of the reader when Rainsford falls overbaord and swims to the island's shores.  Equally shocked by the announcement of General Zaroff that he hunts the most dangerous game, the reader joins Rainsford in his abhorrence.  Then, following the sequence of events as Rainsford learns what it is to be "a beast at bay," the reader is thoroughly captivated by the gripping plot.  Of course, the climax is wonderful:  Rainsford hides in Zaroff's bedroom and there is the classic showdown.  With the clever twist to the ending, the reader is left to suppose the victor of the duel.

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