What are some examples of figurative language in the short story "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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lusie0520 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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There are many examples of figurative language in “The Most Dangerous Game.” For example, at the beginning of the story, when Whitney and Rainsford are talking, Whitney brings up the fact that the sailors seem nervous about their surroundings. At first, Rainsford scoffs, but then he remembers the Captain did seem uneasy. Whitney tells the story of his talk with the Captain, claiming to have felt uneasy when the Captain asked him if he felt anything. “The sea was flat as a plate glass window,” he says, a simile indicating how strange the sea seemed and making him feel odd.

Another good example of figurative language is when Rainsford feels a “sharp hunger picking at him.” This is a good example of personification, indicating that hunger, like a person, is picking at him. Another example of personification is when Rainsford is trying to make his way to the chateau, and he looks “down to where the sea licked greedy lips in the shadows.” The sea is being personified as a greedy person licking his lips, waiting to swallow someone.

There are also metaphors in the story. When Rainsford reaches the chateau and the door is opened, he stands blinking in “river of glaring gold light.” In this case, the metaphor is a comparison of light to a river. Another metaphor can be found during the hunting scene when Rainsford is hiding in the tree, and the general tracks him there but does not “catch” him. This is when Rainsford realizes that “The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse,” a metaphor for the “cat and mouse” game—the idea that the general is toying with him like a cat toys with its prey.

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