What do Powerful foreshadowing, vivid imagery, clever plot reversals mean?"The Most Dangerous Game"  by Richard E. Connell

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Certainly, Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" is replete with powerful foreshadowing, vivid imagery, and clever plot reversals.

  • Powerful foreshadowing = carefully laid hints that suggest and then greatly define further actions in the plot 

One example of such foreshadowing that has a powerful effect is Whitney's consideration of the fear of the prey and Rainsford's dismal, "Bah! They've no understanding."  This foreshadowing hints at the dangerous game in which Rainsford will soon be engaged. Moreover--and this is the "powerful foreshadowing"--iit suggests that Rainsford will soon understand only too well what Whitney meant with his consideration of the jaguar's understand of "the fear of pain and the fear of death." When he runs for his life, Connell writes, "Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay feels."

  • Vivid imagery = language that appeals to any of the senses in a very clear and impressive manner

On the morning of the second day of the horrifying hunt, Rainsford is confronted with a fateful quandary:  He can remain where he is and wait to be captured, or he can flee, postponing what seems the inevitable. As he thinks, he hears and sees much. The paragraph that follows is rich in frightening imagery:

The baying of the hounds drew nearer....Down a watercourse,,,he could see the bush moving....he saw the lean figure of General Zaroff...through the tall jungle weeds...was the giant Ivan, and he seemed pulled forward by some unseen force...the pack in leash.

  • Clever plot reversals = a change of direction in the plot that is completely outside the direction of the plot, but which works artistically.  For instance, near the end of the story, Rainsford is forced to take a desperate chance by leaping out into the sea.  At this point, the author suddenly leaves the narrative about Rainsford and begins to tell the story through Zaroff's eyes.  This plot reversal creates suspense about Rainsford as the reader wonders what has become of him.  Then when a "man, who had been hiding in the curtains of the bed" is standing before the general as he retires for the evening, there is a powerful impact upon the reader.

Skillful writers can build interest in a story through suspense, as Connell does.  And, his use of powerful foreshadowing, vivid imagery, and clever plot reversals certainly serves to increase this suspense.

wahida06 | Student

I'll Add another question Madame:

What does Historical Allusion means?


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The Most Dangerous Game

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