Analysis of "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell is about a hunter in search of his prey. However, a twist in the story occurs when this great hunter becomes the prey. The main character of the story is Rainsford. He sets out on a hunt for wild animals, which her refers to as “the best sport in the world”(line 9 page 58) with his partner, Whitney. While enroute to their hunting camp by boat they hear gunshots followed by a screaming sound. Rainsford suddenly drops his pipe into the water and in an attempt to retrieve it he falls in too. He swims in the direction of the screams and finds an island with a large mansion on it. He then encounters General Zaroff, also an avid hunter and owner of the island. However, Zaroff’s game is human. He explains to Raiford that he has hunted animals all over the world. In looking for a challenge he attempted to find an animal with “courage, cunning and reason”(Connell 66). He finally found one and it is human. He then provides Raiford with supplies and instructions on how the “outdoor Chess” (Connell 70) game with humans will be played. It pits Zaroff against Raiford in a game of intelligence, strength and stamina.

One aspect of conflict used in this story is "Man vs. Man" conflict involving General Zaroff and Sanger Rainsford. They disagreed on the belief of hunting innocent human beings. Rainsford argued that what Zaroff did was cold-blooded murder and that no one was supposed to do such a horrible thing. But Zaroff insisted that he was no murderer, he simply found a new game. Conflict between these two character didn't end here, Zaroff chasing Rainsford in the woods to kill him was also a physical form of "Man vs. Man" conflict. Another form of conflict found in this story is "Man vs. Nature" when a character has to face some natural force like water or fire.

General Zaroff, can best be described as sadistic, arrogant, and manipulative, this keeps him at the focus of this story. The worst trait of Zaroff is his arrogance. He claims that he is superior to people of different races and feels it is his job to abolish the weak.. This idea is expressed when Zaroff says “Life is for the strong, and, if need be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure… I hunt the scum of the earth-...” This shows that Zaroff not only acts arrogantly, but also sadistically. His demented mind forces him to believe that it is moral to hunt all living creatures, when in fact; he’s actually committing murder. General Zaroff considers his hobby of hunting other humans amusing. Another strong trait is his ability to manipulate people, the General pretends to be civilized and generous thus, people start to trust Zaroff, but as soon as his victims feel comfortable around him, he forces them to play his “game”. This usually ends up in the death of his poor captive.

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