Figurative Language In The Most Dangerous Game

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belarafon | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Figurative language is essentially comparison; the idea is to give the reader a better grasp on something by giving it a common point of reference. Comparing a woman to a summer's day, for example. In "The Most Dangerous Game," there are small examples of figurative language, but Richard Connell keeps mostly to a clear and simple prose. When Rainsford comments on the very dark, moonless night:

"Ugh! It's like moist black velvet." trying to see through a blanket.

Another couple of examples come from Zaroff; he is a hard, violent man, but is also of very refined tastes and considers himself a superior gentleman. Here is Zaroff's comment on what he feels is Rainsford's old-fashioned views:

"It's like finding a snuffbox in a limousine."

Here is his comment on the sharp rocks that destroy ships which fall into the channel:

"...giant rocks with razor edges crouch like a sea monster with wide-open jaws. They can crush a ship as easily as I crush this nut."
(Connell, "The Most Dangerous Game,"

Here, the violence of his last simile shows how little he cares about human life, and how he believes his actions to be moral based on his personal philosophies. However, the story doesn't need to rely on figurative language to be engaging; the plot itself, plus the straightforward description of Rainsford's inner thoughts, give the story suspense without excess prose.