Analysis Of Three Works Essay, Research Paper
“And something had come to life?It was a kind of shadow,
a poisonous blackness filled with bewildered loathing.
?something hateful and unspeakable
in the souls of men.”
An apparent introduction is made in the three works, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, The Child by Tiger by Thomas Wolfe, and The Destructors by Graham Greene; the unwelcome but necessary introduction to the sinful nature of mankind, to evil without limits, and without cause. When confronted with the presence of evil around them, the characters react in very different ways. A few triumph, one just stands in awe.
In The Most Dangerous Game Mr. Rainsford, at first, tries to shrug off a fellow sailor’s belief of a nearby ‘dark’ island by saying “Pure imagination . . . One superstitious sailor can taint the whole ship’s company with his fear.” The sailor replies with haunting faith, “Sometimes I think evil is a tangible thing – with wavelengths, just as sound and light have. An evil place can, so to speak, broadcast vibrations of evil.” When Rainsford comes to believe the crucial meaning of his friends’ words, it is too late; he is already in the midst of the very place that was spoken of.
Appalled at first, by faced with no other choice than to confront the very source of evil, General Zaroff, face to face, Rainsford realizes the danger of his position and takes what he is dealt right in stride. He was now the wanted prey of the most dangerous of hunters. “He had not been entirely clear-headed when the chateau gates snapped shut behind him. His whole idea at first was to put distance between himself and General Zaroff. . . Now he had got a grip on himself, had stopped, and was taking stock of himself and the situation.” Mr. Rainsford, an experienced hunter himself, had found himself in a position he probably had never imagined before. This kind of hunting was new to him, for this time the quest was for him and his pursuer was of the most wicked species; the devil, so to speak. “Is there anything a man don’t stand to lose when the devil wants to take it all away?” To try an out run, out fox and altogether put an end to the ‘devil’ was the task, and Rainsford did it the only way he knew how; by being the poacher and the quarry, setting traps while taking flight, and leaving no traces behind to be followed.
After eluding General Zaroff for a wearing three days, Rainsford had won, according to the rules of General Zaroff, but that did not satisfy him in the least. “I congratulate you,” the General said. “You have won the game.”
Rainsford did not smile. “I am still a beast at bay,” he said in a low, hoarse voice. “Get ready, General Zaroff.”
And he did win, he was the champion in the game between good and evil, the most dangerous of all games.
Mr. Spangler, as he is referred to in The Child by Tiger, was brought more abruptly into the realization that man is born with the heavy burden of iniquity on his shoulders. Although still a child, Spangler did realize that the man he and all of his friends looked up to, the man that knew how to do everything, had a strange air about him. Spangler noted in the beginning of the story, “He went to softly, at too swift a pace. He was there upon you sometimes like a cat. Looking before us, sometimes, seeing nothing but the world before us, suddenly we felt a shadow at our backs and, looking up, would find that Dick was there. And there was something in the night. We never saw him come or go.” Spangler and his friends, Randy and Nebraska, didn’t quite know what to thank of Dick. He was devoted to his master and deeply religious, he seemed a good man. After all, he read his bible every night. Spangler and his friends had trouble understanding Dicks’ passion and obsession over the bible. “We tried to laugh it off and make jokes about it. But there was something in it so dark and strange and full of a feeling we could not fathom that our jokes were hollow, and the trouble in our minds and in our hearts remained.”
Like Rainsford, Spangler did not realize the danger or the evil intentions of Dick in time to tell anyone. When Randy and Spangler found a new rifle in Dick’s room. He sweet-talked them into keeping their mouths shut. Only after the damage had been done did they realize their mistake. “. . . we both stared there for a minute, aware now of the murderous significance of the secret we had kept, with a sudden sense of guilt and fear, as if somehow the crime lay on our shoulders.”
Dick was caught in the end, and he paid for what he had done. But this act of brutal violence brought out the absolute animal in the people of the town. To catch the beast, they became beasts themselves. They rioted, and refusing to listen to the mayor, they shattered the window of the gun shop, proceeded to steal all of the guns, and took off with a bloody roar, after the dogs in search of Dick. “The men on horseback reached him first. They rode up around him and discharged their guns into him. He fell forward in the snow, riddled with bullets. The men dismounted, turned him over on his back, and all the other men came in and riddled him. They took his lifeless body, put a rope around his neck and hung him to a tree. Then the mob exhausted all their ammunition on the riddled carcass.”
In the process of eliminating Dick, the men of the town became just as barbaric and grotesque as he had been, perhaps even more so. On recounting the event, one man proudly boasted, “He was dead before he hit the ground. We all shot him full of holes then . . . Why hell, yes . . . We must of put three hundred holes in him.” Spangler must have awakened to the fact that pure evil does exist, and in many, many forms.
Similar to Spangler, the members of the Wormsley Common car-park gang were innocent at first. Then T. became the leader of the gang. The boys respected his authority and went along with T.’s plan to destroy a nearby house. Like Dick, they also saw something dark, almost menacing in T. “T. raised his eyes, as gray and disturbed as the drab August day. ‘We’ll pull it down,’ he said. ‘We’ll destroy it!’”
“T. was giving his orders with decision: it was as though this plan had been with him all his life. . . Eventually all of the boys became T’s workers. It seemed T’s goal in life was to destroy this house, and by using his friends, he was able to accomplish his goal.
The real exposure to evil, however, was to the owner of the house, Old Misery. Suspecting nothing of T., Old Misery had let him into the house for a look around. He had not an inkling of an idea about the capabilities of T. and the gang. He didn’t even appear suspicious. Old Misery was tricked into the lav by an innocent-looking boy. He had positively no idea what he was dealing with. It wasn’t merely a boy, put a force all too powerful for him alone to fathom. “[Old Misery] felt dithery and confused and old?”
After that he didn’t know what was going on. “After a while it seemed to him that there were sounds in the silence – they were faint and came from the direction of his house . . . he thought of burglars – perhaps they had employed the boy as a scout, but why should burglars engage in what sounded more and more like a stealthy form of carpentry?”
Old Misery spent the night in the loo, unaware of the dark cloud hovering about his house and it’s potential for destruction. Also too late, Old Misery encounters, but still does not fully realize, the evil lurking about and the chaos it has caused. In horrible wonder, he surveyed the damage. “He was wearing a gray blanket to which flakes of pastry adhered. He gave a sobbing cry. “My house,” he said. “Where’s my house?” In that instant, his wisdom gathered up over the years wasn’t worth a dime; he became a scared little boy, the victim of his own ignorance, and a force he could not understand.