Analysis of “The Most Dangerous Game”

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The text is used to foreshadow what is going to happen later in the story. When Rainsford mentions that the crew seemed jumpy around ship trap island, it foreshadows that rainsford will somehow end up on the island. The significance of the author structuring this at the beginning of the text is so that he sets up “the characters. The mention of cannibals is a reference to the “bad reputation of the island”. (Connell)

There are three strategies that Rainsford uses to elude General Zaroff. The first is to run from Zaroff, leaving a trail as hard to follow as possible. Rainsford winds up “executing a series of intricate loops; doubling on his trail again and again, recalling all the lore of the fox hunt, and all the dodges of the fox.” (Connell). Secondly, he sets traps for Zaroff like the Malay Mancatcher, the ugandan knife trap, and the burmese tiger pit. Lastly he hides when necessary from Zaroff.

The significance of Zaroff telling Rainsford they are civil because they have electricity is he is trying to keep up a charade of civilitary to encourage Rainsford to go hunting with him. This is irony in the story because Zaroff is anything but civil, in fact he is a sociopathic killer. The exact dialogue is Zaroff stating ‘I have electricity. We try to be civilized here.’ Rainsford replies by asking ‘Civilized? And you shoot down men?’ (Connell). Zaroff tries to be showy by having the finest food and drink but that doesn’t change what an uncivilized person he actually is.

Rainsford’s action reveal that he is able to remain calm while in the face of a dangerous situation. His ability to keep calm and swim to shore shows that he is an expert survivalist. Another place in the story where this is proven is when he jumps 20 feet down into the water to avoid Zaroff’s dogs. The author writes “It was the shore of the sea. Across a cove he could see the gloomy gray stone of the chateau. Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea. . . .” (Connell).

General Zaroff was “an erect, slender man in evening clothes….He was a tall man past middle age, for his hair was a vivid white; but his thick eyebrows and pointed military mustache were as black as the night from which Rainsford had come. His eyes, too, were black and very bright. He had high cheekbones, a sharpcut nose, a spare, dark face–the face of a man used to giving orders, the face of an aristocrat.” (Connell). His personality was a sociopath, operating under the guise of civility and friendliness. He enjoys being in control, and is extremely polite.

There are two different interpretations of the title “ The Most Dangerous Game”. I assumed prior to reading that “The Most Dangerous Game” meant that it was referring to the activity, like yahtzee or scrabble. The second interpretation is that Connell is referring to hunting game, such as deer and ducks.

The role that Ivan serves in the story is he is the person who answers the door for General Zaroff. The author writes that “The first thing Rainsford’s eyes discerned was the largest man Rainsford had ever seen–a gigantic creature, solidly made and black bearded to the waist. In his hand the man held a long-barreled revolver, and he was pointing it straight at Rainsford’s heart.” (Connelly) He acts as a personal servant for him. He controls the hounds who would likely have dragged Zaroff off otherwise. He wouldn’t necessarily be able to handle them because he is too small. While Zaroff is intelligent and conniving, Ivan is dumb, deaf, mute, and fiercely loyal to Zaroff.

The author provides a flashback to General Zaroff’s childhood to show that his entire life revolves around the hunt. The flashbacks to him as a young adult show that he is likely the best hunter in the world. To display this, Zaroff states, “I have hunted every kind of game in every land. It would be impossible for me to tell you how many animals I have killed.’ It provides us context as to why he is such a mysterious man and helps us understand his personality better.

I believe they are both equal in intelligence because every action that Rainsford makes are counteracted by Zaroff and most of Zaroff’s actions are countered by Zaroff. For example, any of the traps that Rainsford sets, Zaroff is able to evade. Connell writes ‘if you are within sound of my voice, as I suppose you are, let me congratulate you. Not many men know how to make a Malay mancatcher. Luckily for me I, too, have hunted in Malacca.” (Connell). They have both shared experiences and have very similar minds, but Rainsford has a predisposition towards morality.


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Analysis of “The Most Dangerous Game”. (2021, Oct 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/analysis-of-the-most-dangerous-game/



What is the overall message of The Most Dangerous Game?
The overall message of The Most Dangerous Game is that humans are the most dangerous animals of all.
What is the purpose of the story The Most Dangerous Game?
The Most Dangerous Game is a story about a man who hunts humans for sport. The purpose of the story is to show the dangers of hunting humans and to warn people against doing it.
What is the symbolism of The Most Dangerous Game?
The Most Dangerous Game is a story about a man who hunts other humans for sport. The symbolism in the story is that hunting humans is the most dangerous thing a person can do.
What is the thesis of The Most Dangerous Game?
The death penalty protects society by ensuring that dangerous criminals are removed from the streets and cannot commit additional crimes. Additionally, the death penalty serves as a deterrent to others who may be considering committing a crime.
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