The Different Variety of Conflicts in Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game Essay Example

  • Category: Books, Literature,
  • Words: 968 Pages: 4
  • Published: 07 November 2020
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People have to endure and tolerate conflict in their conventional life, even though nobody fancies it.  Although, in fictional stories, there is nothing more exciting than an adequate clash. The bulk of fiction stories conventionally have one conflict.  In particular, The Hunger Games, a novel by Suzanne Collins is based around the conflict of Man vs. Man, and Hatchet a novel by Gary Paulsen has conflict that concerns Man vs. Nature, and finally, Flowers for Algernon is a short story and a novel by Daniel Keyes that shows Man vs. Self conflict. On the other hand, “The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story that contains all the three types of conflicts which makes it even more engrossing. Man vs. Man manifests through the clashes between characters. They struggle with trying to endure and abide against the exasperating causes of nature which indicates that Man vs. Nature exists in this short story.  Also, the dramatis personae have to tackle many mental challenges on the pernicious Ship-Trap Island while being in apprehensive situations, which intimates that Man vs. Self transpires in “The Most Dangerous Game.” Consequently, there are not just one, but three divergent types of conflicts that exist throughout Richard Connell’s short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” that come together to make the plot exceptional.

One of the sinister types of conflicts clearly present in the short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” is Man vs. Man. The general decides that he is tired of hunting simple prey, which for him is even the most exotic animal. He finds his true passion in hunting something that is courageous, cunning, and, above all, able to reason, and even though some might call it murder, General Zaroff simply calls it prey. Zaroff finally comes upon a quarry that can match his own acuity in hunting, and it is none other than the hunter himself, Rainsford.  Even though Rainsford is able to flee the island, there is nowhere for him to go. With this in mind, he must come back and finish Zaroff’s menacing game. 

The general presumes that Rainsford perishes after leaping far out into the sea, but when he discovers that Rainsford is standing behind the curtains of his bed, Zaroff tries to ease him with servile flattery, but when that does not work, he takes a deep bow and utters, “Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford” (14).  General Zaroff and Rainsford finally encounter each other at the climax of “The Most Dangerous Game” where they clash like a smoky, strange night, and a crisp winter morning.  The two hunters brawl for survival, man vs. man, because only one can survive in Zaroff’s game.  Rainsford somehow manages to outplay the general and becomes the first victim to ever win his game, therefore, concludes that Man vs. Man exists in this short story.

Another extremely harsh conflict that occurs throughout “The Most Dangerous Game” is Man vs. Nature.  Rainsford has to confront numerous challenges that mother nature throws at him during the course of his voyage at sea and at Ship-Trap Island. For instance, as the tenebrous night comes during the hunt, insects bite Rainsford brutally; or when the pack of hounds are determinedly tracking Rainsford.  Furthermore, the sea is his foe all through “The Most Dangerous Game” as he cannot escape from playing General Zaroff’s homicidal game due to the sea keeping him hostage on the island. When Rainsford falls off of the yacht by cause of how dim the night is, he begins to swim towards the island considering the chances of catching up with the yacht being hopeless. He decides to swim “with slow, deliberate strokes, conserving his strength. For a seemingly endless time he fought the sea” (2).  Rainsford has to overcome his fatigue and proceed in swimming towards the island because that is how he fights the sea.  Man vs. Nature prevails in “The Most Dangerous Game” for the reason that Rainsford undergoes multitudinous events having to do with the environment.

The final evident conflict that transpires in “The Most Dangerous Game” is Man vs. Self.  In the course of the story, Rainsford encounters a myriad of circumstances in which he has to make exigent decisions. Rainsford has to elude General Zaroff, a huntsman who has never failed to hunt his prey, whilst having no sleep on his first night on Ship-Trap Island.  This is due to the fear of being the general’s kill in his sadistic game.  With this in mind, Rainsford still has to make consequential judgment that may determine whether he survives the game or not.  The most cardinal decision Rainsford has to make is when he hears the cry of the bellicose hounds and presumes that they are approaching.  Being intrepid, Rainsford emits, “Nerve, nerve, nerve!” (13).  He decides that the only pragmatic answer is to leap far out into the sea and take his chances with survival, rather than being a nosh for the pack of hounds.  In this situation that Rainsford confronts, like many others, he has to go back-and-forth trying to find out what the best alternative is, which elucidates that Man vs. Self takes place in this short story.

Richard Connell’s short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” has varied types of conflicts that help concoct the diegesis. One of the more conspicuous types of conflict present is Man vs. Man, which the short story illustrates through the agog fights of General Zaroff and Rainsford during the general’s horrendous game.  In addition, it displays Man vs. Nature due to the struggles of Rainsford trying to continuously persevere through the dangers of his surroundings at Ship-Trap Island and at the untamed sea. Furthermore, Man vs. Self is evidently present in this short story as a result of all the life-and-death situations that Rainsford has been put through. These constituent conflicts all come together to harmonize into a preeminent storyline. Palpably, people do not want conflict in their lives, but the conflict in a piece of literature has a significant influence on the story, and the more types of conflict there is, the more admirable the story becomes.



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