The Most Dangerous Game Essay

966 words - 4 pages

The Most Dangerous Game Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" (reprinted in Thomas R. Arp, Perrine's Story and Structure, 9th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 1998] 8 "" 23) is a disturbing yet enticing work of using escape literature. The story involves the reader in many experiences. It lets one feel what the fight for survival is like, and what saving one's own life could entail. Victory and joy are two of the experiences one will feel when reading this story; however, one of the most powerful experiences is that of fear. Rainsford has fallen off his ship into the "blood-warm waters of the Caribbean Sea"(31), and begins to swim towards Ship-Trap Island. Upon arriving on the island, Rainsford discovers that the island is owned by a strange and ill-natured General who invites Rainsford to stay. But the General has an underlying motive for his apparent generosity. General Zaroff enjoys hunting - and he only hunts The Most Dangerous Game "" Man. Similarities and Differences in background, character traits and motivation between Rainsford and Zaroff become apparent throughout this story of Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Himself, and Man vs. Man.Similarities in background were that both Rainsford and Zaroff seemed to be well-educated gentlemen. Rainsford was able to write and have published his own book on snow leopards in Tibet. Similarly, one can assume that General Zaroff was tri-lingual, as he had "read all books on hunting published in English, French, and Russian."(67) Both gentlemen were participants in the war. "I went into the army," says Zaroff "and for a time commanded a division of Cossack cavalry"(85). Zaroff later states to Rainsford that he "refuse[d] to believe that so modern and civilized a young man as [Rainsford] to"¦ harbor romantic ideas about the value of human life. Surely your experiences in the war"(113) insinuating that Rainsford's experiences in war should have hardened his way of thinking. Wealth was also a similarity among Rainsford and Zaroff. Rainsford had the financial stability to be able to travel all around the world to hunt; he was after all "Sanger Rainsford of New York"(50). Whereas, Zaroff bought an island, constructed himself an enormous building for a home, furnished the home with a medieval magnificence about it, and wore well- tailored suits. These were assumingly financed through heavily invested American securities. Their character traits had numerous similarities as well. Rainsford and Zaroff were experienced hunters with the ability to track their quarry. Rainsford demonstrates this ability by "examin[ing ] the ground closely and [finding] what he hoped to find "" the print of hunting boots."(43) Zaroff on the other hand, demonstrates the ability by making "his way along with his eyes fixed in utmost concentration on the ground before him"(179) following Rainsford's...

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