The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connell Essay

712 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 3 Pages
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 inhabits is filled with “dense jungles” with no signs of life. The irony of having a “palatial chateau” (441) situated on a mostly deserted island reflects Zaroff’s personality and beliefs. He is depicted as a civilized character and even says: “I have electricity. We try to be civilized here” (446). While being highly educated on certain aspects of high culture, the general has a dark side that leads him to hunt men for sport. He believes that “[L]ife is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong” (446). This sort of thinking and attitude drives him to hunt other humans because it “gives [him]…

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