What are some examples of personification in the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," there are a number of examples of personification. This literary devices attributes human characteristics to non-human things.

The first example is the discussion Rainsford has with Whitney on the yacht. As they speak of their upcoming hunting excursion, Whitney comments on the fact that hunting is a great sport except for the hunted—the prey. Rainsford says that it's the best sport; Whitney replies:

For the hunter...not for the jaguar.

Rainsford asks (and this is foreshadowing), "Who cares how a jaguar feels?" Whitney suggests that perhaps the animal itself does, but Rainsford insists that it has "no understanding." Whitney personifies the animal, saying:

...I rather think they understand one thing—fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death.

While pain is not limited to humans, fear is a human emotion. Whitney argues quite well that animals and humans share these feelings.

Whitney also personifies evil, noting that it can communicate with "wavelengths" and "vibrations." Another example is found as author describes the feeling of near-sleep that comes over Rainsford, calling it "sensuous drowsiness." People experience sensuousness, not feelings of fatigue.

Finally, as Rainsford swims to the shore (having fallen off the yacht), he hears the sound of the waves breaking on the sand, referring to the sea's "muttering." This sound is closely tied to speaking beneath one's breath so the words (hardly articulated) are difficult to understand. However, the sea does not speak, therefore it cannot "mutter."

Richard Connell provides many examples of personification in his popular story.

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