Richard Connells “The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story which illustrates that calm analytical thinking can increase your odds of survival and controlling panic.
We are introduced to the protagonist and main character, Sanger Rainsford who is a big game hunter and a WW1 veteran. The story starts off with a conversation between Whitney and Rainsford discussing the island, so we can understand the reputation it holds.
Whitney is a fellow hunter, a flat character and used mainly as a plot tool. Whitney introduces the secondary theme that being that hunters usually have no empathy for their prey. This is one of the first uses of irony in the story.
Metaphors and Similes are often used in this story, so the reader has a better image of the setting, this is something, and I find Connell did incredibly well, for instance when he refers to the darkness of the night like moist black velvet, the sea was as flat as a ...view middle of the document...
This story now introduces us to “…an enormous building –a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom,” built and owned by General Zaroff, nemesis of Rainsford and the story’s antagonist. By the physical description of the General, we can deduce that his physique is similar to Rainsford’s. General Zaroff says “You will find that my clothes will fit you, I think”. Further comparisons and similarities between the two main characters can therefore be drawn. They are both gentlemen, well educated, wealthy and a shared interest in hunting as is discovered during their discussion during a sophisticated refection. Rainsford is appalled when he discovers that General Zaroff hunts human beings, he lures them in using a fake channel. General Zaroff invites Rainsford to join him on the hunt for humans but Rainsford strongly declines, Zaroff then has an epiphany and decides to make Rainsford his next prey.
I believe General Zaroff has a psychological problem, since he has no remorse for his prey (humans). I think that is caused by back to when he was a noble, during the Russian revolution. He probably has some built up anger towards people at least that’s what I believe.
According to General Zaroff the rules of the hunt are, Rainsford is given a pack of food, a hunting knife and a three hour head start. Zaroff will begin his pursuit after the stipulated time period armed with only a pistol of the smallest caliber and range. Zaroff seems to think this is fair but in actuality it is pure savagery. Zaroff is deluded in his thinking as he has a perception of himself as an honourable gentleman when in fact he’s not. If his quarry evades him he not only replaces his gun with an automatic pistol, he reinforces himself with viscous hunting dogs.
When the hunt begins, Rainsford tries to get as much distance between him and Zaroff as possible. In this part of the story, Rainsford has to have controlled his panic many times so he can think analytically and focus on getting away from Zaroff. Zaroff has already found Rainsford, but he has not killed him only so the game can continue