Lit. Analysis of Rainsford in the Most Dangerous Game

April 17, 2017 General Studies

Written by Richard Connell, “The Most Dangerous Game” is a suspenseful tale of horror and action adventure packed into one short story. It follows a hunter named Rainsford who through an unfortunate series of events becomes shipwrecked on an island. He then meets General Zaroff, who is also a hunter and a big fan of Rainsford’s literary works and hunting. He then talks about how he has loved hunting since he was a little boy. He tells Rainsford about how he had started to become bored of hunting before he found the most dangerous game, which is humans.

When Rainsford does not condone this, the furious general decides to hunt him. “The Most Dangerous Game” follows Rainsford as he transitions from hunter to prey. When the reader first meets Rainsford he is a callous hunter who doesn’t care about the animals he hunts. He thinks they have no understanding or fear of what is happening to them as shown in this excerpt, “You’re a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. “Who cares how a jaguar feels? ” “Perhaps the jaguar does,” observed Whitney. “Bah! They’ve no understanding. ” This shows how he doesn’t believe animal’s lives are valuable.

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Also he says, “Even so, I rather think they understand one thing–fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death. ” “Nonsense,” laughed Rainsford. “This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes–the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters. ” The reader at this point might consider Rainsford to be a despicable character because of his indifference to the deaths of these animals. However after general Zaroff captures him he becomes a “beast” and he truly understands the terror of being the hunted and not the hunter, “The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse.

Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror” This quote shows how he understands that an animal really feels fear when it is being hunted, this is also shown in the quote, “At daybreak Rainsford, lying near the swamp, was awakened by a sound that made him know that he had new things to learn about fear. ” He literally becomes the beast. At the end of the book we learn that he is still the “beast” when he says, “I am still a beast at bay. ” It is evident that he is a changed man from his experience.

He now knows the feeling of the animal he is hunting, as shown in this example, “Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay feels. ” It’s obvious that he has completely changed his attitude towards hunting. In conclusion Rainsford’s character is a dynamic character, because he goes from not caring about an animal’s feelings to being hunted and experiencing all of the emotions that an animal would feel when it was being hunted. Rainsford’s ideology’s change when he is chased around the island by General Zaroff and thinks he is about to die. He changes from hunter to hunted and becomes a whole new individual.


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