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Suspense in The Most Dangerous Game Essay

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suspense in “The Most Dangerous Game”

Suspense, used to change the story

drastically, prevents “The Most Dangerous Game,”

from seeming too predictable and boring. Author,

Richard Connoll, creates suspense by

conveying unsettling emotions that the audience can

relate to and that give a false sense

of predictability. The title of this story, a major

factor of suspense, tells the audience

exactly what will happen. The interior suspense

gives hidden meaning to the title and

adds many twists to its foreboding plot. The

element of suspense, leaving audiences

guessing about future events, allows the audience

to get emotionally involved in the story


In essence, Richard Connoll does not

disappoint readers by deviating from the

thematic conflict, but instead keeps the audience

on their toes by creating a veil of the

suspenseful unknown throughout the story.

Indeed, Connoll successfully creates this veil

of suspense in several key scenes. One such scene

occurs when Zaroff tracks Rainsford, by following

his immensely difficult trail, to Rainsford’s

canopy bed. When Zaroff

arrives he looks up into the canopy of the

trees. He then lights a cigarette and blows a smoke

ring into the air as if “deliberately”

and stalks away “saving him for another day’s

sport” (210, 211). When Connoll does not

specifically say if Zaroff saw Rainsford or not it

leaves the audience to speculate about

Zaroff’s intentions.

A second key scene happens

when Rainsford digs a pit in the marsh. When the

pit kills Zaroff’s dog Zaroff seems amused

and says that he will “see what you (meaning

Rainsford) can do against my whole pack. I

am going home for a rest

now”(212). Zaroff’s satisfaction releases both

Rainsford from the hunt (yet again) and the

audience from the momentary suspense while keeping

them entangled in the overall plot. The plot

continues deepening as Rainsford faces more danger

when Ivan and Zaroff hunt him with an entire pack

of dogs. Again, Rainsford escapes by using his wits

and constructing a trap that kills Ivan.

As each

successive event becomes more and more dangerous it

leaves the audience feeling as if nothing could top

the previous scene. Connoll does top all of his

previous scenes by concluding with the ultimate

ending; he allows the readers to make their own

ending. This keeps the story forever alive by never

actually ending the story, the perfect permanent


Throughout the story, Connell’s masterful use of

suspense keeps the audience guessing until far

beyond the end. Such creative writing stirs the

desire for more, keeping the audience hooked until

the exhilarating finish. Connell’s “The Most

Dangerous Game” conveys a prime example of


It also begs the question, what is

civilization? Rainsford enjoys hunting so his peers

consider him primitive and Zaroff is seen as

civilized. This only shows that civilization is a

perception made from details that are fed to us by

the person being judged. A person’s true character

is on the inside, as shown in this story, but can a

person change? Did Rainsford’s experience change

him from the mere perception of primitive to actual

primitivism? .

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Suspense in The Most Dangerous Game Essay. (2019, Feb 28). Retrieved from

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