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The Settings In "The Destructors" And "The Most Dangerous Game"

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Autor:   •  August 9, 2011  •  1,128 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,523 Views

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Fiction Essay

"The Destructors" and "The Most Dangerous Game"

Thesis Statement

The setting of a story is an essential element in the telling of that yarn. This is especially true in a short story as the duration of the story usually limits the location to one site. In the short stories "The Destructors" and "The Most Dangerous Game" the locations in which they transpire play a pivotal role in the premise of these stories. The locales in which these stories take place are diametrically opposed. This paper will examine and dissect the backdrop of these stories and evaluate their contribution to the story's intent.


I. Introduction

a. The Destructors

b. The Most Dangerous Game

II. The Location

a. London, England

i. Wormsley Common

1. The Parking Lot

2. "Old Misery's House"

b. The Caribbean Ocean

i. The Yacht

ii. "Ship Trap Island"

III. The Time

a. Post World War II

b. Post World War I

IV. Atmosphere

a. Daytime

b. Nighttime

V. Conclusion

In the milieu of the short story, words are a precious commodity. The duration of the narrative demands that the language employed be both precise and succinct. The words that the author makes use of must paint a sufficiently vivid picture to embellish the tale without expending undo verbiage.

As each word is valuable, so too are the elements that comprise the story. The characters, the plot, the point of view and the theme all must be constructed using a minimal amount of descriptors. The establishment of these elements is essential in a compelling short story.

One of the most crucial elements, in the opinion of this student, is that of the setting. The effective use of the setting goes a long way in establishing the other elements of the narrative. The setting can craft the theme as well as the point of view of the story. The story's background may also play significantly into the conflict of the tale. In its essence, the situation can assume the status of a character in and of itself.

Surely, an author may decline to employ the story's backdrop to its fullest extent. Stereotypical locations, just like stereotypical characters, can be employed, or more accurately "thrown away" in the telling of a tale. Examples might be Paris for a love story, a dusty frontier town for a western, or an isolated spaceship for the science fiction genre.

In selecting the short stories for contrast and comparison for this assignment, "The Most Dangerous Game" and "The Destructors" were chosen. These yarns were preferred predominately because of their setting. In this body of work, the character of the two venues will be examined.

Graham Greene establishes "The Destructors" in a relative familiar setting of London, England, while the bulk of Richard Connell's tale transpires in the Caribbean Ocean.

More specifically, the majority of "The Destructors" takes place in the heretofore unconfirmed location of Wormsley Common. "The Most Dangerous Game's" primary setting is that of the mysterious "Ship Trap Island". Both stories share a historical similarity in that they take place in the shadow of two great global conflicts. In the aftermath of such conflicts, it is not uncommon for chronicles to often struggle with such issues


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