The Most Dangerous Game

Characterization in “The Most Dangerous Game” 12th Grade

Rainsford and General Zaroff are the protagonist and antagonist of “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. The story follows the idea of the most dangerous hunting game, where Rainsford must survive three nights of getting hunted by General Zaroff in order to keep his life. The characterization of these two characters are established indirectly (through thoughts, words, or actions) and directly (through description). In “The Most Dangerous Game”, the most common characterization was indirect, assumed by the reader as they followed the words and actions of Rainsford and General Zaroff. This allows the reader to familiarize themselves with both the protagonist and the antagonist, further developing the story’s intensity and suspense.

Connell does not use a lot of description throughout the short story, choosing to use words and actions so that the reader can infer about Rainsford’s or Zaroff’s personality. For example, by the end of the story, it is clear to the reader that Rainsford is witty, courageous, and quick. Following his panicked yet cool-headed actions as he desperately tries to survive the three nights gives off such an image. His wit is shown through the traps created in the first two nights, both of which...

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