Irony, Conflict and Theme in “The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Destructors”
English 102 Composition and Literature
Spring 2016-D15 LUO
Thesis Statement and Outline
“The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Destructors”
Thesis Statement: Connell and Greene reveal with the use of irony, conflict and theme, mankind’s human nature, exposing man’s most primal instincts and desires through their characters.
A. The hunter becomes the hunted.
1. In a conversation about Jaguar hunting with Whitney, Rainsford exclaims, “You’re are a big game hunter, not a philosopher, who cares how a jaguar feels?" (Connell, 1924, p.1).
2. ...view middle of the document...
Connell and Greene reveal with the use of irony, conflict and theme, mankind’s human nature, exposing man’s most primal instincts and desires through their characters.
The irony in Connell’s story displays how man's disposition changes when confronted in desperate situations. The first instance of irony presented is when Whitney, despite being a hunter finds himself sympathizing with animals and questioning the existence of their feelings. When talking about Jaguar hunting, Rainsford exclaims, "You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher, who cares how a jaguar feels?" (Connell, 1924, p.1). Here, Rainsford is seen as a cold-blooded predator with a lack of remorse. In a turn of events, the protagonist (Rainsford) experiences being the prey and is terror-stricken; the hunter becomes the hunted. It is Zaroff, a devious man hunter that now has the advantage. “It was Rainsford who knew the full meaning of terror" (Connell, 1924, p.11). The final role reversal, Zaroff becomes the prey and is killed, at the hand of Rainsford.
Unlike Connell, the irony in Greene’s story springs a surprise to the reader in respect to the characters. Throughout the story unexpected behavior and actions are intertwined. Trevor (T.), the son of an architect and from an affluent background, joins the Wormsley Common Gang and becomes the leader (Greene, 1954), atypical of a person of his upbringing. However, T. still has the ambition to stay on top, whether it be in upper-class society or a street gang. Upon finding Old Misery's (Mr. Thompson) money, T. tells Blackie “We aren’t thieves.” “Nobody is going to steal from this house” (Greene, 1954, p. 6). Despite being a gang leader, there's a certain code of ethics he adheres to and morals he is unwilling to compromise. Greene paints a picture that is contradictory and even ironic to the stereotypical image associated with gangs. As in Connell’s story, Greene’s story also depicts the ironic imprint of compassion despite cruel intentions. Supplied to Old Misery are food and a blanket in spite of the destruction they are intent on committing to the home. “We don’t want you to starve Mr. Thomas” (Greene, 1954, p. 10).
A central conflict presented in Connells story is Man vs. Self. Connell exhibits how a being’s mind operates under duress. Rainsford shows morals and values with his unwillingness to participate with Zaroff in the manhunt, unbeknownst to him that he’ll become the intended prey (Connell, 1924). Rainsford’s spirit to live and tenacity to survive prevails all else....