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Three major conflicts found in “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

There are hundreds of stories and equally hundreds of authors in the world. Some stories have a main conflict and others rarely have two major conflicts. But, “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, is set on another level than most stories. In the short-story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, three separate conflicts occur throughout the story. For instance, man vs man takes place between two characters in the story. Also, man vs self arises, due to a fearful situation. Furthermore, man vs nature appears various times in this story. Therefore, all three conflicts are clearly visible in this tale.

Throughout the story, man vs man can be found in multiple situations. For example, Zaroff’s has been the cause of many deaths on his island. Being a skilled hunter, he enjoys challenges and his biggest challenge of all time is Rainsford. He explains the part Rainsford would play in his most ambitious hunt ever. Zaroff says, “Your brain against mine. Your woodcraft against mine, Your strength and stamina against mine. (10).” Zaroff knows that Rainsfords is also an expert hunter. He knows that Rainsford has a bunch of experience with hunting. That makes him much more dangerous than any of the victims caught in Zaroff’s evil schemes. Therefore the general is thrilled to challenge Rainsford’s ability against his own. Rainsford, on the other hand, is not looking forward to the general’s plan, but he knows that he will have to play the part, if he wants to survive. Hence, man vs man appears in this story between Rainsford and General Zaroff.

While experiencing a difficult situation, man vs self arises inside one of the main characters. For instance, Rainsford is being hunted for sport. General Zaroff finds pleasure in hunting humans. His next, and most prized victim is Rainsford. To make his hunt more intriguing, the general gives Rainsford a head start and a few materials. Given his head start, Rainsford tries to make the most of his time. As fear creeps up on him, he reprimands himself, saying “I must keep my nerve, I must keep my nerve (11).” Rainsford fights with his inner urge to panic. Being in this situation he begins to lose control and battles to gain it back. He is well aware that if he wants the slightest chance of survival, then he must keep his head clear and think clearly. Like the general, Rainsford is also a hunter. He knows from experience, how a hunter feels while he is hunting an animal. However, he has never known the emotions that go through the mind of a terrorized animal, an animal that knows that he has no chance. Like in a frightened animal, man vs man arises in Rainsford.

Another conflict that emerges in this short-story, is man vs nature. The environment in which this story takes place abounds with nature. Therefore, Rainsford comes in contact with nature a lot. That continuous contact, often creates conflict. After falling off the yacht, Rainsford descends into the water surrounding the island. Since, Rainsford has fallen in the water at night, he was stranded in the ocean during high tide. He has to fight against the pertinacious waves, in hopes of reaching dry land on the not so distant island. Moments before slipping off the yacht, Rainsford had a conversation with his partner, Whitney. Whitney is observative about what a hunted animal experiences. On the other hand, Rainsford says, “Who cares about how a jaguar feels (1).” Jaguars are a species of mammals, this makes them a vital asset in nature. Rainsford disregards the feelings of an animal going through fear of pain and death. He believes that humans are above nature. And that Animals are unfortunate to be insubordinate. Instead of harmonizing with nature, Rainsford’s point of view proves that man vs nature is found in this short-story.

Man vs man, man vs self and man vs nature are found in the short-story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. For example, Zaroff’s evil plan causes man vs man conflict between him and Rainsford. Also, being in the state of fear brings man vs self conflict inside Rainsford. Furthermore, Rainsford’s contact with nature and his opinion on it creates man vs nature conflict in this story. All these conflicts together are spotted throughout this story. Conflict creates tension in a story. Stories without the tension that conflict creates are just paragraphs with no purpose. One might ask, if a story is truly story, if it has no conflict.