“The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story written by Richard Connell. In this literary selection two hunters, Sanger Rainsford and General Zaroff have very different views on how a man should hunt. Throughout Richard’s Connell’s story, he shows how the personalities between Rainsford and General Zaroff reveal their civilized and uncivilized traits when both men are playing a deathly game.
Rainsford is a well-bred hunter with descent morals, but in a lethal circumstance he has to forfeit those morals for a chance at existence. Rainsford
says “’I can’t believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a grisly joke’” (27) when General Zaroff tells him that the game Zaroff plays is to hunt human-beings. Rainsford is clearly appalled and horrified by this and shows cultured and civilized ways. Rainsford is also civilized because he is well educated; he wrote a book about hunting. He also is wealthy because he owns his own yacht and hunts for a living. Although later in the story, Rainsford wins the hunt Zaroff proposes and then challenges Zaroff to another fight, showing a savage-like quality. “’Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford…..” [and] he had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.’”(36). Throughout the hunt Rainsford develops a barbaric need to kill Zaroff, he sets up the Malay man catcher and the Burmese Tiger pit to trap his enemies. The story shows Rainsford in two different lights. He changes his refined manner by the end of the short-story, because he faces a life or death situation. All in all, this skilled hunter has both civilized and uncivilized aspects.
General Zaroff is a very wealthy man with a cultivated decorum, yet he has a very barbarous nature. For example, “’He is a Cossack,’ said the general, and his smile showed red lips and pointed teeth. ‘So am I’” (24). General Zaroff takes pride in hunting people. He uses dogs, a...