“The Most Dangerous Game” versus “The Destructors”
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Connell (2006) comprises of the story of a New Yorker who hunts big-game. The hunter drops from a yacht. He swims to a remote Caribbean island. A member of the Cossack aristocracy hunts him while at the island. The story comes off as inspired by the safaris made by wealthy, American big-game hunters to South America and Africa early decades of the 20th century. “The Destructors” by Greene (1990) is a narrative of juvenile males, members of the Wormsley Common Gang, who obliterate the iconic Old Misery’s house. The narrative, which is set in the mid-20th century, is ironic. It depicts destruction as creation. This essay contends that the authors, Connell (2006) and Greene (1990), are keen on exploring wars’ effects and the question of instinct versus reason.
Connell (2006) and Greene (1990) explore the question of instinct versus reason by blurring the line between them. Connell (2006) blurs the divide between prey and hunter, animal and person, to imply that reason and instinct are reciprocally inclusive. Notably, traditionally, the two are seen as being mutually exclusive. Traditionally, philosophers and writers have taken the human being’s capability of reasoning and intellect as superior to wild animals’ bestial instincts. They have taken human beings as devoid of bestial instincts simply because they have the intellect and can reason. Connell (2006) blurs the divide via Whitney, who contends that wild animals experience fear impulsively and come cleans that he has derived the chills from the description of the Ship-Trap Island offered by Captain Neilson. Reflexively, Whitney owns up that he has developed a sense of trepidation from how he perceives the island, the way a seeming menace induce trepidation in a wild animal.
Like Connell (2006), Greene (1990) comes off as keen on blurring the divide between gut feeling and reason. Typically, it is expected that an entity that is capable of reasoning will find the destruction of an iconic house of marked historical value distasteful and needless. T., one of the principal characters in “The Destructors”, presents the obliteration of the iconic Old Misery’s house as necessary and beneficial. That way, T. comes off as incapable of reasoning and sensing reality like an animal driven by gut feeling. Greene (1990), most likely in an effort to blur the divide further, presents T. as devoid of the human qualities linked to reasoning such as differentiating between repugnance and love. He feels neither love not hatred for aged Mr. Thomas.
Connell (2006) and Greene (1990) present wars as having considerable impacts. Even, the authors have different perceptions on the real wars’ effects. In “The Most Dangerous Game”, Connell (2006) presents Zaroff as having lost his eagerness to hunt owing to war. War leads to development of longing for authority over others in Zaroff, who thinks of others as precious prey. Connell’s presentation of Zaroff appears geared towards depicting war as robbing individuals of their reasoning ability and planting in them bestial gut feelings. He presents Zaroff as having developed disdain for fellow human beings owing to war.
Unlike Connell (2006), Greene (1990) views war as having more adverse effects on the societies than on the individuals. Greene (1990) views war as resulting in the destruction of helpful, traditional structures. The destruction of the structures affects societies through robbing their young populations of promise and hope. The destruction of the structures makes youthful populations incapable of finding substantive things within their environments as well as within themselves. Greene (1990) presents the destruction of the structures as robbing societies of understanding and guidance.
“The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Destructors” are different in terms of the motifs used in communicating the two main themes in them: wars’ effects and the question of instinct versus reason. Connell (2006) uses red color and darkness as his motifs while Greene (1990) uses the iconic Old Misery’s house as his motif. The red color depicts the death, violence, and bloodshed associated with war and lack of the ability to reason. Typically, the parties to any conflict can avert the possibility of war by reasoning together. The darkness highlights the obscure recesses lying past the reach of reason as well as logic. The house communicates the toll that war has on societies. It shows that war leaves human societies battered, markedly weakened, fragile, and excessively reliant on social and political structures for support.
Connell (2006) and Greene (1990) explore wars’ effects and the question of instinct versus reason. Connell (2006) and Greene (1990) explore the question of instinct versus reason by blurring the line between them. Unlike Connell (2006), Greene (1990) views war as having more adverse effects on the societies than on individuals. The authors use different motifs in expressing themselves on the different themes: Connell (2006) uses red color and darkness while Greene (1990) uses the iconic Old Misery’s house.
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