Rainsford in “The Most Dangerous Game” is the generic protagonist in a commercial fiction story. Connell created a good versus evil story that is very intriguing for many reasons. One of the reasons that the story is intriguing is because of the way he treats the character of Rainsford. He makes Rainsford into a very convincing protagonist. There are several criteria that a character has to pass to be a convincing one, and Connell’s protagonist, Rainsford, passes each and every one of them.
Rainsford never changes his behavior throughout the short story. His decisions all seemed to conform to the mold he sets for himself in the beginning of the story. Even when his actions seem rash, Rainsford appears to be perfectly justified in them. A prime example of this would be when he kills General Zaroff at the end of the story. Yes, it is a shocking event, yet it is completely justifiable if you examine the character of Rainsford. Rainsford is a renowned hunter, and he is hunted by Zaroff. At the end, Rainsford hunts Zaroff because he is not in danger after the three days he survived. Zaroff is just another easy prey. Even if one does not buy that, they can buy that Rainsford is so rattled and fearful that he has to kill Zaroff even though the game is already over. This quality of being consistent in behavior or justified in their actions is one criterion that makes Rainsford a convincing character.
Another criterion that Rainsford must pass is not an easy one. Rainsford’s words and actions must spring from his motivations. The reader must also understand why his motivations are that way. Everything that Rainsford does and says seems to spring from a motivation that the reader can understand. The last criterion a character has to pass to be a convincing character is that he/she must not be too evil or too virtuous. Rainsford does not demonstrate either of these characteristics.