Answers 1Add Yours
The story opens with a conversation between two men—Whitney and Rainsford. They are traveling on a boat and discussing an infamous island that should be somewhere nearby, Ship-Trap Island. Whitney explains to Rainsford that the island is known as a place of dread. Rainsford tries to find the island through the thick, leafy jungle but is unable to spot it. Whitney remarks on the depth of darkness in the region of the Caribbean that they are sailing through. Whitney reveals that the ship is headed to Rio de Janiero in Brazil, and should arrive in a few days.
The two men then launch into a discussion of jaguar hunting in the Amazon. Rainsford remarks that hunting is the best sport in the world. Whitney modifies Rainsford’s statement by pointing out that the sport is only fun for the hunter. Rainsford pushes aside his commentary as foolishness for he feels that animals have no understanding of the hunt. Whitney points out that even if they can’t understand complex things, they still understand and experience fear. Rainsford, once again, casts aside his statement as nonsense. Rainsford tells Whitney that the heat has made him emotionally soft. The reality of the world, as Rainsford sees it, is that there are two groups—the hunted and the hunters.
Rainsford and Whitney then return to the subject of the island. Rainsford inquires more about the rumors surrounding the mysterious island. Whitney explains that the island simply radiates evil—even the captain and the crew of the boat were on edge as the boat approached the island.
The captain had told Whitney that he felt a profound sense of dread on passing through the waters that surrounded the island. Rainsford thinks that the captain is simply being overdramatic. Whitney surmises that perhaps this is the case of one sailor’s scary tale rubbing off on the whole crew. He explains to Rainsford that even though that might be the case, there is still something to be said for the ability of evil to be perceived, especially by those who face danger constantly. At the end of the conversation, Whitney decides to retire to his quarters.