"The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell.

Essay by cheatingisBADCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2003

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Implausible Escape

The short story "The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell, is a piece of escape fiction wherein implausible factors run throughout. Escape fiction, however, depends on this element because it could not otherwise escape reality without being a touch unrealistic. Connell places implausibility into his story in a variety of ways. Manipulation of the characters, environment, and odds create unlikely instances for each, from beginning to end.

The story starts out on a pitch-black night in the middle of the sea, here we have main character Sanger Rainsford traveling by yacht. One can't exactly be sure whether it is implausibility or stupidity, but after Rainsford hears three gunshots in the distance he jumps onto the ship rail, for reasons unclear. Being in this precarious position he then drops his pipe and goes after it, also plunging into the sea. For someone who is alluded to having intellectual greatness later, he does not appear to have his wits about him now.

It then happens that no one on the ship can hear his cries for help, but he can hear far-off screams and the splashing of water against rocks and swim through this tumultuous sea towards them -- an amazing feat of survival. Morning comes and incredibly he is able to follow a trail of footprints from the night before, somehow not blown away by the windy seashore, that lead all the way to an inhabited château.

The man who has made this island a home is General Zaroff -- an old military veteran and superb huntsman. Seemingly, this general has unlimited funds with which to travel all over the globe for his sport and then create this luxurious island hideaway. Surprisingly, Zaroff recognizes this strange man who came knocking on his door as Sanger Rainsford,