In Richard Connells short story. The Most Dangerous Game, the use of literary devices, found blended with other literary devices, gives the story an inner meaning. The blending of literary devices effectively expresses the intentions of Connell to present contrast between the antagonist and protagonist points of view. As a result, the reader can gain insight on the good and evil sides of the story to enhance the purpose of his interpretation. The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell presents literary devices such as foreshadowing, setting, and irony which reveal the underlying meaning of the story.
Connells use of foreshadowing creates an atmosphere of mystery and a hesitant feeling of not knowing what events will occur. For instance. Zaroff has ceased [hunting] because all the animals had become too easy to chase. But one animal has a certain characteristic of being able to reason which rekindles his passion for the thrill of the hunt (68). The vague statement at which Zaroff makes at Rainsford obviously hints toward humans. As being the animal of reason because referring to the statement Rainsford makes in the early stages of the story. He asserts that animals do not feel or think. Now that Rainsford conceives the idea that Zaroff hunts humans. It provides Rainsford with a frustrating mental reaction of fear. And anger because Zaroff openly declares that he poaches humans for amusement and yet Rainsford feels the anxiety of dying in his sick game.
Equally important, while Zaroff hunts strategically, [his] brain against [Rainsford] (71), it sent a shudder of cold horror in the flowing veins of Rainsford because of the fear that he will lose [his] nerve (73). Immediately, when Rainsford enters the repulsive jungle. He knows that the strategy for staying alive becomes not only physically. But by remaining mentally strong and not losing his nerves. For this reason, by staying on objective and visualizing his goal of achieving victory over Zaroff; Rainsford will not have to worry about weakness from hunger because he will be full of hope and optimism for the rest of his life. Connell utilizes foreshadowing in a way that other authors do not compare because when he uses an event that contains foreshadowing, he does not state it candidly but blends foreshadowing into story like the way an artist creates a painting by manipulating colors onto a canvas forming a brilliant work of art.
Connell utilizes the strength of the story by combining the setting with mood to observe the reaction of the characters when the environment around them changes. For example, as the poisonous [air] engulfs the yacht, it gives Whitney a mental chill; a sort of sudden dread as Rainsford and him sail precariously towards the island (62). Whitney, frightened by the grim nature around him, feels like a wounded bird fighting for its life among the hungry predators hiding in the unknown.
The shroud of darkness completely surrounds not only Whitney, but the entire yacht which leaves him in a state of anxiety because of what lies in cover amid the dreadful island. Furthermore, as the eyes of Zaroff scatter over the island, searching for Rainsford, Rainsford froze there, every muscle tensed afraid that the eyes will see (73). With shelter high above in the trees, away from Zaroff, Rainsford awaits for the perfect moment where he will jump down from among the sky and pounce on Zaroff like a leopard killing its prey. Consequently, while
Rainsford keeps repeating the moment of victory inside his mind; the self-confidence, overflowing out of his veins, develops into uncertainty. Since Zaroff possesses the island and with his military expertise, scouts the island for any advantages in hunt; Rainsford fears that Zaroff will counter the surprise attack and kill him, making the hunter become the prey. When Connell interweaves setting into mood, the method he uses touches the senses of all who read the story. Because of the intricate detail he constructs, the story progresses like threads in a loom; at first, the threads appear in a state of disorganization, not knowing what role lies for them ahead. But as the weaver creates order among the threads, he presents to them a purpose; to touch the senses of the mind with its brilliant colors and complex weaving which Connell produces in the story.
The irony, which Connell exhibits, integrates with theme to introduce the meaning of the story. not the meaning of the words on the pages of the book, but what the story means to the reader. During the time when Zaroff hunts for humans, it gives [him] pleasure; but when Rainsford heightens with fierce anger, he claims that he [is] not a murderer because he does not kill humans (68). The moment at which Rainsford voices his opinion becomes essential to the development of his character because Rainsford, unknowingly, forces himself to consider both sides of the hunt, the hunter and the prey. Because of his stubborn ideas that animals do not think or understand, he realizes the mistakes of his motif only when he changes side to become the prey.