Irony- A contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.
“The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters.”(Connell 1)
“... have I not told you I always mean what I say about hunting? This is really an inspiration. I drink to a foeman worthy of my steel--at last.”(Connell 11) To Rainsfords surprise the general means to hunt him, not to hunt with him.
Personification- A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given to nonhuman things.
Imagery- Creating a picture in the reader's mind by making the reader see, hear, taste, smell, or touch what is being described.
Rainsford, a big game hunter, views the world as having two classes-the hunters and the huntees. He is surprised to find himself being hunted, something he never thought could happen to a human. This put Rainsford in the role of prey and he has to be cunning enough to survive the three days, something he has never thought about before as a hunter.
Foreshadowing- Use of clues to suggest events that have yet to occur.
“He struggled up to the surface and tried to cry out, but the wash from the speeding yacht slapping him in the face and the salt water in his mouth made him gag and strangle.”(Connell 2) Rainsford’s fall from the yacht signifies a drastic change for him. You could almost say the water slapping him, and making him gag and strangle was a wake up call. The situation he is in sets up the turning point from where he is the hunter to where he is the hunted.
Allusion- A figure of speech that makes a reference to people, places, events, or literary work directly or by implying them. It is up to the audience to make the connection.
“Ten minutes of determined effort brought another sound to his ears--the most welcome he had ever heard--the muttering and growling of the sea breaking on a rocky shore.”(Connell 3) The sound of the sea against the shore brings Rainsford closer to the real tension of the story. Rainsford is describing the setting like it is the best thing to happen to him, but he has yet to find out what he will endure on that island.
Hyperbole- Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
“No other hunting compared with it for an instant. Everyday I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have a quarry with which I can match my wits…. It must have courage, cunning and, above all, it must be able to reason.”(Connell 8) Zaroff describes his perfect prey and his obsession with hunting it. This sets up for the revelation that Zaroff is hunting humans, not animals. Ultimately, Zaroff intends to hunt Rainsford as his biggest challenge.
“After the debacle in Russia I left the country for it was imprudent for an officer of the Czar to stay there. Many noble Russians lost everything”(Connell 7) Zaroff references the Russian Revolution and gives some background on himself to Rainsford. This background is helpful to Rainsford because he finds out Zaroff is a Russian noble with wealth and a military past as well as experience as a big game hunter.Rainsford would expect, Zaroff being a noble, to think hunting men is the equivalent of murder.
“Even so zealous a hunter as General Zaroff could not trace him there, he told himself; only the devil himself could follow that complicated trail through the jungle after dark. But perhaps the general was a devil--”(Connell 12) Zaroff can not be the devil, but this exaggeration shows how bad, sick, and evil he is. Even though Rainsford believes his complicated path can’t be followed, in the back of his mind he knows if anyone can figure it out it will be Zaroff.