silhouette of a man with one eye open hiding in the jungle

The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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What are some examples of suspense, based upon the three types of conflict, in "The Most Dangerous Game"? Three types of conflict: man vs. man, man vs. self, and man vs. nature.

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Richard Connell's short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," contains great amounts of suspense. The idea that a man, Zaroff, wishes to hunt humans, based upon their ability to reason, can be horrifying to readers. This horror raises much suspense, as Zaroff releases Rainsford into the jungle.

Man verses Man

Perhaps the most suspenseful example of this type of conflict is where Zaroff is standing under Rainsford tyring to "pysch" him out. Rainsford has placed himself in a tree; Zaroff is under him; he knows that he is close. Zaroff is trying to get in Rainsford's psyche by telling him that him that he is good, but not good enough (given Zaroff did not fall for the trap).

Man verses Self

Another example of conflict, which contains suspense, is found when Rainsford is questioning his own ability. Readers may be rooting for Rainsford at this point, but his own concern about his ability is suspenseful.

Man versus Nature

Zaroff lives upon an island (Ship Wreck Island). The island is covered with jungle, wild animals, and quicksand. From the point Rainsford falls into the ocean, at the opening of the story, he is in a constant battle with nature. At points throughout the story, Rainsford conflicts with water (in his struggle to get to the island), dense jungle, dogs (Zaroff's hunting dogs who are trying to sniff him out), and finding the correct materials needed to set his traps.

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