Differing Conflicts in Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game Essay Example

Countless fiction stories are read in a “one conflict, then solved” way. Readers of those stories will encounter a conflict and a resolution, the basic structure of a story. However, Richard Connell, the author of “The Most Dangerous Game,” mixes it up by introducing three contrasting conflicts in his story. One type of conflict is man versus himself. Also, another type of conflict is man versus nature. Lastly, the third type of conflict, man versus man, is crucial to the story. In “The Most Dangerous Game,” three different types of conflicts exist in the story.

The dangerous conditions keep Rainsford fighting against himself, his instincts and his weaknesses. One case is when Rainsford had to deal with the lack of rest and sleep. He managed to push the problem away to conquer dilemmas, such as the hasty retreat from the treacherous sea, during his stay on Ship-Trap Island. Rainsford does manage to defeat the fatigue from lack of nutrition too. The narrator states: “Sleep had given him new vigor; a sharp hunger was picking at him” (3). Zanger fights himself over malnutrition. During the game played with Zaroff, Rainsford reminds himself to not go insane. He tells himself, “Nerve, nerve, nerve!” (14). Rainsford is struggling to lose his nerve, and it is a man versus himself conflict. The existence of man versus himself as a conflict in “The Most Dangerous Game” contributes to the story’s plot indubitably. 

Another type of conflict that exists in Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” is man versus nature. Firstly, the sea churning before Rainsford appalls him. The narrator portrays, “. . . the salt water in his open mouth made him gag and strangle . . . He wrestled himself out of his clothes and shouted with all his power” (2). The agitating water struggles Rainsford to swim hazardously to the rocky shore. Additionally, Rainsford verses the hounds of Zaroff too. Zaroff’s game brings Zaroff to lead his hounds out to hunt their prey, Rainsford. Rainsford then encounters more trouble by encountering the periphery of the cliff while being chased by the dogs. The natural cliff is an obstacle to Rainsford because of how he has no choice but to jump or surrender to Zaroff and his hounds. Man versus nature makes sense as one of the three conflicts in the heavily conflicted plot of the story. 

Man versus man is the most important type of conflict existing in the short story. The first man versus man conflict is when the men leave Rainsford on Ship-Trap Island by sailing away. The abandonment keeps Rainsford struggling to live in the dangerous island without a way out. Another instance of man versus man is when Ivan holds Rainsford at gunpoint when Rainsford enters the chateau, making the daunting interaction a man versus man conflict. The conflict most contributing to the story is between Rainsford and General Zaroff because of how the story formulates around it. Zaroff says, “You’ll find this game worth playing . . . Your brain against mine . . . Your strength against mine. Outdoor chess! And the stake is not without value, eh?” (10). Zaroff’s “dangerous” game includes fighting to the death, and his game is exactly the two men versing each other. The stake is one’s life, and the men are fighting to keep their own. Therefore, man versus man is one of the three conflicts of the story and it is the most important conflict. 

The conflicts incorporated in the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell varies from one to the other. A conflict will be man versus himself, where Rainsford struggles with mental and physical health. Another will be man versus nature, where hounds were expecting Rainsford’s demise. Moreover, the conflicts of man versus man between Rainsford and Zaroff. The complications of Rainsford integrate to fabricate the short story. “The Most Dangerous Game” most definitely differs from other stories from the specialty of ample conflicts.



We are glad that you like it, but you cannot copy from our website. Just insert your email and this sample will be sent to you.

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails. x close