The Most Dangerous Game

Rainsford's Character in "The Most Dangerous Game" 9th Grade

“The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story and thriller by Richard Connell, which takes place after World War II on a remote island. The story chronicles the misadventures of a distraught castaway, as he makes his way through a mad man’s playground, narrowly escaping death at each turn. General Zaroff, the castaway’s captor, forces Rainsford into a game of murder that ends in Zaroff’s demise. Rainsford, the protagonist, is an embodiment of our inner man, the beast that dwells just below our outer psyche, the part of us that others, even those held close, fails to see. Throughout the story, Rainsford’s beliefs, temperament, sense of self and ultimate state of consciousness morph as the story progresses, which makes him a hard to miss, dynamic character.

The most notable change in Rainsford is in his beliefs. Rainsford, an adept hunter, initially believes that animals experience no fear or recognizable emotion. He demonstrates this when he jubilantly states, “Who cares what a jaguar feels?”(11). He later insinuates that animals have no intelligence as he proudly declares, “Bah, they have no understanding” (11). Rainsford takes his egotistic beliefs and opinions further by ridiculing the animals he hunts and by partitioning his...

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