Civilization Of Civility In Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game

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In Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”, Rainsford washes ashore a mysterious island habited by the strange General Zaroff. The General lives lavishly on the island and believes himself a superior being because he hunts humans for sport. Rainsford is welcomed and greeted, however later, the General hunts Rainsford but loses and Rainsford kills him. Through Zaroff and the island, Connell shows that even as civilized humans, humanity itself can never truly be maintained as it can be too easily lost or forgotten. Connell uses characterization and plot to show the many ironies in humans believing they are civilized when they still commit barbaric actions for personal gain.
The contradiction between the mansion and the island symbolizes the contradictory natures of Zaroff’s characters. Apart from his personal mansion, the island that Zaroff
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In the very beginning of the story, Rainsford is introduced as a hunter as he says it is “the best sport in the world” (438). He showed no signs of empathy when speaking about the animals he hunted and even expresses his thoughts of superiority: “The world is made up of two classes-the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters” (438). However, he does express his concern about hunting other humans: “Hunting, Good God, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder” (445). Later in the story, Rainsford is forced into the position of prey by Zaroff. Then, it is Rainsford that hunts Zaroff and ultimately kills him. The inversion of roles continues all throughout the story finally leading up to Rainsford metaphorically taking the role of Zaroff by sleeping in his bed: “He never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided” (453). Rainsford is ironically changed from the hunter to the hunted and, from a non-murderer to murderer. Consequently, showing how little strength it takes to fundamentally change

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