What mood does this setting help create?
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Zaroff's home is a gothic-like opulent mansion. Here is a quote,
"The dining room to which Ivan conducted him was in many ways remarkable. There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal times with its oaken panels, its high ceiling, its vast refectory tables where twoscore men could sit down to eat. About the hall were mounted heads of many animals--lions, tigers, elephants, moose, bears; larger or more perfect specimens Rainsford had never seen. At the great table the general was sitting, alone."
This gives a surreal feeling to the story, all this opulence amidst a rather uninhabited island. It also adds a lot of mystery to the story. The dead animal heads also gives a menacing feeling.