What different meanings does the word "game" have in the story, and what different meanings might the title "The Most Dangerous Game" have?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" plays upon the idea of the double entendre. A double entendre is one word which can be understood in different ways. The word "game," within the text and within the title itself, is used in two very different ways. First, the word game refers to a competition or sport which one must pay attention to rules and the end is defined through skill, luck, or strength. Under this definition, the hunting of Rainsford by Zaroff is considered a game. Zaroff, in a sense, sports with Rainsford (as seen when he calls out to him and leaves Rainsford until later). Another definition of the word game refers to Rainsford as the prey of Zaroff. Like a game animal (lions, cape buffalo or jaguars), Zaroff's hunting of Rainsford "turns" him (Rainsford) into an animal (figuratively). He, Rainsford, has become the prey of Zaroff.