Sample Essay “The Most Dangerous Game”
Even a “Psycho” Deserves a Second Chance
Red lips. Sharp pointed teeth. Murderer. Psycho. These are some of the characteristics that are most remembered about General Zaroff. He is often seen as the crazy, evil person who deserves to be punished. Little time and attention are given to figuring out why he believes and behaves the way he does. If more time were dedicated to these considerations it would be easy to come to the conclusion that General Zaroff is not really an evil person-even though he hunted humans. I believe his behavior is justifiable because he was never taught to be human; he had calloused role models as a child, was expected to face the horrors of war and had no real emotional connection to any human beings.
Zaroff comes from a part of Russia where men are known for their ferociousness. Zaroff’s father clearly exhibited this same trait and inculcated it into his son. His father was a zealous hunter and when Zaroff was only five years old, he bought him a gun to shoot animals with. Young people learn their values and morals from those around them. Because Zaroff’s role models-such as his father- were fierce men who didn’t have much consideration for life, he started to learn that killing animals for sport was acceptable behavior. When Zaroff killed bigger game, such as turkeys and bears, his father “complimented [him] on [his] marksmanship” (Connelly 62). Zaroff learned early on that to get his father’s approval he had to be fierce and heartless when it came to taking lives. Mostly all children want to have their parent’s approval. Zaroff did too; he knew that the more skillful he became in killing, the prouder his father would be of him. It is likely that Zaroff’s desire to get approval and admiration from people he looked up to (such as his father) were the reason he began to become a merciless hunter.
As a young man, Zaroff went to war; he mentions that “it was expected of noblemen’s...