Love Of Life In Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game

Improved Essays
“It’s a game you see.” (11). General Zaroff’s words set the tone of Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”. Upon introduction, Zaroff appears to be nothing more than a sophisticated cosmopolitan who find pleasure in the sport of hunting. Upon closer examination, however, the general’s love of hunting stems from his belief that the intellectually and physically superior men should eliminate those who are weaker. General Zaroff’s sadistic view of humanity in “The Most Dangerous Game” displays the irony in his civilized lifestyle. General Zaroff lives in a mansion on a deserted island. His first introduction illustrates a civilized way of life through his manners and poise. “In a cultivated voice marked by a slight accent that gave it added …show more content…
He desires to hunt the most cunning animal of all. “‘I wanted the ideal animal to hunt,’ explained the general…. `It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason."' (10). Zaroff’s value of human life directly relates to their ability to reason and strength as a person. “Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if need be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure.” (10). The barbaric mindset of Zaroff directly contradicts his attempt at a civilized life. Zaroff finds pleasure in cold blooded murder, He views the killings as nothing more than a civilized man hunting animals far inferior to himself. “I hunt the scum of the earth -sailors from tramp ships- lascars, blacks, Chinese, Whites, Mongrels-a thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them.” (10). Anyone who Zaroff deems unintelligent means nothing more to Zaroff than an animal and should be controlled by someone civilized. Zaroff ignores the fact that being civilized requires moral judgement and the fair treatment of …show more content…
Zaroff recalls the previous night’s hunt. He describes the sailors and how their “dull brains” created an unchallenging evening. Once underway, the hunt between Rainsford and Zaroff becomes a game of cat and mouse – much to Zaroff’s delight. Rainsford sets three traps, two of which claim the lives of Zaroff’s dog and his right-hand man, Ivan. Zaroff only views the loss of life as a way of scoring the game. “Your Burmese tiger pit has claimed one of my best dogs. Again, you score…Thank you for a most amusing evening.” (17). Zaroff later returns, forcing Rainsford to evade him by diving off a cliff. Zaroff returns to his mansion; believing he is victorious. “Two slight annoyances kept him from perfect enjoyment. One was the thought that it would be difficult to replace Ivan; the other was that his quarry had escaped him.” (18). Zaroff dehumanizes Ivan, casting aside the value of life and only viewing Ivan as a personal tool. Zaroff brushes off the losses of the day and retires to his chambers. Out of the shadows, Rainsford appears, having hunted Zaroff back to his mansion. Zaroff, caught off guard by Rainsford has gone from the hunter to the hunted. “The general sucked in his breath and smiled. ‘I congratulate you,’ he said, ‘You have won the game.” (18) Zaroff prepares to play one final game with Rainsford. The general acknowledges Rainsford cunning and skill. As Zaroff said before “Life

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