Imagery In The Most Dangerous Game

What is an example of imagery in the story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Edward Connell?

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Arguably, the most effective imagery in Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" is the light/dark imagery that prevails throughout the story.

Rather than contrasting the light and darkness, however, Connell cleverly creates an interplay with the light and dark: The light deceptively lures or attracts rather than providing safety, as is often the case.

In the exposition of the story, as Rainsford is alone on the deck, he thinks to himself, "It's so dark that I could sleep without closing my eyes, the night would be my eyelids--" This observation foreshadows this interplay of light and dark as Rainsford is lured by the lights in this intense darkness.

Yet, at first there is the traditional suggestion of the safety of light in this part of the story. For instance, that Rainsford is in danger when he falls overboard is indicated by "the receding light of the yacht," and also in this description:

[T]he lights of the yacht became faint and ever-vanishing fireflies, then they were blotted out by the night.

After Rainsford finally drags himself onto a shore, he sleeps until late in the afternoon of the next day. Having heard gunfire, Rainsford follows its direction, but darkness is falling:

[B]leak darkness was blacking out the sea and jungle when Rainsford sighted the lights.

Rainsford follows the way to these lights as he thinks of the traditional safety of light, but he soon discovers that they all emanate from one huge structure, a palatial chateau, complete with threatening pointed towers and set upon a cliff on three sides. Still, he is drawn to these lights, the only ones in the darkness, just as the sailors are drawn to the flash of lights leading into the deceptive channel of Zaroff where, like moths drawn to light, the sailors eventually meet death.

The sinister nature of both darkness and light continues throughout most of the narrative. On the first day of the hunt, for example, Rainsford tries to put as much distance as possible between him and the general as he repeatedly doubles back on his trail in order to confuse the hunter. By the time night falls, he is exhausted; so, knowing that it would not make sense to blunder through the dark, Rainsford climbs a tree, taking care not to leave any sign of his having touched this tree. As he rests on one of the thick branches, Rainsford thinks to himself, “...only the devil himself could follow that complicated trail through the jungle after dark.” But, he is wrong, as the general emerges toward morning and stops beneath his tree, lights a cigarette, and then casually departs.

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