Thesis statement: Connell employs inference and imagery in creating uneasiness in the minds of unsuspecting readers.
Connell develops suspense by causing readers to assume the unthinkable using inference. As the story progresses, we learn just exactly what the General hunts. This knowledge, combined with the descriptive phrase “his [Zarroff’s] smile showed red lips and pointed teeth” (17), makes readers wonder “does he eat what he hunts?” Or, in other words, “is he a cannibal?” As more and more of the story unfolds, readers are pressured to believe this, but by the end of the story are still not sure. Additionally, certain things said by General Zaroff invite the audience to wonder if he might be a cannibal. When Zaroff and Rainsford have finished their supper, the General adds more gruesome thoughts to the readers mind by saying “I want to show you my new collection of heads” (20). In a normal setting, this would be assumed to simply be a collection of animal heads, as the General is obviously a hunter. However, we have just recently been introduced to the “Most Dangerous Game” that Zaroff hunts, this dialogue does nothing but add an ominous feeling to the readers interpretation of the story.
The author also generates suspense using imagery, adding an element of unsettlement to reader's minds and leaving them wondering if there is a deeper meaning behind certain phrases and descripstions. When Connell usus the phrase "... blood warm waters..." (15), cannibals and cannibalism had just recently been mentioned for the first time. Obviously, this is just a descriptive phrase meant to draw readers into the story by "feeling" what the characters feel, but with a certain mindset it could mean a whole lot more. Similarly, "the sea licked greedy lips in the shadows" (16) causes readers to wonder if there is a deeper meaning behind Connell's choice of descriptive phrases. ... (need a clincher here too)