Boston College Law School

In “The most dangerous game” by Richard Connel , why instinct vs reason is most important ?

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In regard to the story itself, instinct vs reason was most apt in giving the author his desired result. Hunting has been around since the beginning; animals and humans alike have had to depend on their instinct for survival, whereas humanity is capable of taking it one step further because we do in fact have the ability to analyze, deduce, and use our brain power for problem solving.

In this context, instinct outweighs reason on more than one occasion. The 'time' to reason is unavailable, and gut instinct is what keeps the characters alive. In the end, even the experienced hunter gains new respect for the instinct of prey when reduced to depending upon it himself. We see this reaction first in the character of Whitney, who suffers from fear after listening to the Captain's description of the island. He doesn't have to see it......... as his reaction to simply hearing about it is primal.

Rainsford, the consummate hunter learns all about fear and instinct when the tables are turned, and instead of being the famed hunter becomes an object of prey. He gains new respect for the animals he's killed over the years, and through a marked dependence on his own instinct manages to evade Zaroff's continuous stalking. But Rainsford, rather than becoming the primal beast he easily could have resorted to, keeps his perspective and respects human life even when given the opportunity to end it.


The Most Dangerous Game