The Most Dangerous Game Questions and Answers
by Richard Edward Connell

The Most Dangerous Game book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some allusions made in "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell? 

Expert Answers info

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

What an excellent answer from amysorto! While "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell is a story centered around hunting (hardly a subject likely to contain many references to anything outside of the text), one of the characters is certainly likely to give us some allusions.

General Zaroff is one of the most civilized characters in literature--until we discover his penchant for killing humans, that is. As suggested above, he reads the works of Marcus Aurelius, suggesting that he is a man of great learning and philosophy. He also "[hums] a snatch of song from the Folies Bergere," adding to his image of polished civility.

On the other hand, we have, as mentioned above, a dog named Lazarus who is used to hunt people down so Zaroff can kill them. He replenishes his stock of humans to hunt by tricking ships into the rocky inlet of the island (thus the name Ship Trap Island). He tells Rainsford "[s]ometimes an angry god of the high seas sends them to me." This is a reference, of course, to Poseidon, god of the sea, a classical reference which implies some sense of civility.

Every allusion in the story is connected to General Zaroff, making him a complex character despite his barbaric tendencies. 

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

amysor | Student

An allusion is to reference to something historically, another piece of literature, etc.

"In his library he read, to soothe himself, from the works of Marcus Aurelius. "

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from 160-180 CE.

"The deplorable part of it was that Lazarus followed him. You can imagine my feelings, Mr. Rainsford. I loved Lazarus; he was the finest hound in my pack."

The name Lazarus was a biblical name. It was someone who died and who Jesus reserructed 4 days later according the the bible.

These are only two allusions, but I hope this helps!