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Thrill of the Kill Comparative Essay. Imagine being on a deserted island with no rules, no civilization, nothing besides the need to survival. The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Ric

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Jennifer Qing Mr. Atchison English B30 November 13, 2011 Thrill of the Kill Imagine being on a deserted island with no rules, no civilization, nothing besides the need to survival. The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell are two fictional stories that deal with this concept, exploring the behavior of humans in such a primitive, unstructured environment. In both stories, a distinct division develops between hunters and the hunted, and while each story conveys and focuses on slightly different aspects, the two stories more importantly share the same fundamental view on the overall, underlying theme in regards to human nature. In "The Most Dangerous Game", general Zaroff is the hunter. As the title of the short story implies, hunting is a fun and thrilling game to Zaroff. His cunningness and his natural instinct for hunting led to his many successes as a hunter because as he said himself, "'The animal had nothing but his legs and his instinct. Instinct is no match for reason'" (Connell, 47). Using his instinct and reason, the hunter in this short story demonstrates an exceptional super ego. However, his instinct is evil. With his superiority to animals, Zaroff was no longer satisfied with hunting animals, so he progressed to killing other animals with both instinct and reason-humans. His disregard for human life shows Zaroff's twisted nature. ...read more.


Originally a hunter, Rainsford finds himself on the other side as the animal in fear, using his wit and instinct to overcome the hunter. In Lord of the Flies, Ralph also becomes trapped in a situation being hunted by others. Through his fear, Ralph tries to devise a rational plan, but "...he was beginning to dread the curtain that might waver in his brain, blacking out the sense of danger, making a simpleton of him" (Golding, 196). Ralph fears losing his reason, and he fights to keep his reason while all the other boys lose theirs. There are moments where Ralph loses it, particularly near at the end of the novel. When being hunted by the savages, Ralph becomes hysteric with fear: "Don't scream. You'll get back... Ralph screamed, a scream of fright and anger and desperation... He swung the stake and the savage tumbled over" (Golding, 199). With his life in danger, "he forgot his wounds, his hunger and thirst, and became fear" (Golding, 200). Previously sheltered from danger, Ralph did not know true fear until he became exposed to evil on the island and realized the evil the hunters are capable of. When pushed into a corner, Ralph's panic and his need to survive made him act on instinct, becoming like a savage as a result because humans are evil by instinct. In both "The Most Dangerous Game" and Lord of the Flies, the hunted initially start out as hunters. ...read more.


Lord of the Flies stresses how civilization protects the innocence of humans, preventing them from being exposed to the evil nature of humans. The evil nature of humans is brought out by fear in both "The Most Dangerous Game" and Lord of the Flies. There is a struggle survival in both stories, although as the boys in Lord of the Flies lose their sense of reason, they dismiss being rescued, and their attention is more focused on the conflict of power and hunting. Both stories are set on an island away from civilization where havoc activities occur, but the need for civilization is emphasized more in Lord of the Flies. While there are these minor differences, the underlying message about humanity is the same-human nature is bad. "The Most Dangerous Game" conveys this message by representing humans as animals acting instinctively to survive, and Lord of the Flies emphasizes the message through the symbol of the pig head being the Devil. In the end, both stories effectively express the idea that humans are evil in nature. "The Most Dangerous Game" and Lord of the Flies are two stories that both include the components of the hunters, the hunted and a message about humanity. While there are differences within these elements, the overall moral about humanity remains the same in both stories. That is, that human nature is bad. Implementing the hunters and the hunted emphasize this idea. Connell and Golding share a similar vision. Humans stuck on an island with no rules is not a good idea. ...read more.

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