The Most Dangerous Game Literary Analysis (Conflict)

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In the short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, Richard Connell uses conflict to create a suspenseful mood. When Rainsofrd is struggling to swim in the ocean it shows man v. nature conflict. “For a seemingly endless time he fought the sea” (42). Suspense really shows in this scene because it's really nailbiting to see if he is going to give up and let himself drown, or if he is going to push and swimm to the island he's heard has a bad reputation. Man v. man conflict is shown when Zaroff challenges Rainsford to the hunt. Zaroff said, “'Your brain against mine. Your woodcraft against mine. Your strength and stamina against mine. Outdoor chess!'” (52). The reader feels a lot of suspense in this part because Rainsford is in an unfamiliar place, in the dark, at night, being chased by an expert hunter, his huge servant/guard Ivan, and a pack of wild dogs. The suspenseful mood reaches a turning point when Rainsford chooses to jump off the cliff instead of continuing the hunt. Rainsford also has a lot of man v. self conflict during the hunt. Rainsford has to repeat a motivational phrase to himself so he will keep calm and collected under the stressful hunt. Rainsford repeats, “'I will not lose my nerve. I will not'” (54). This adds suspense because it really makes the reader anxious to know whether or not he will keep his cool. In “The most Dangerous Game” man v. nature, man v. man, and man v. self conflicts are shown to create a suspenseful mood.
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