The Most Dangerous Game

In the beginning what can you conclude about Rainsford from his conflict with Whitney?

"OFF THERE to the right--somewhere--is a large island," said Whitney." It's rather a mystery--" "Whatisland is it?" Rainsford asked. "The old charts call it `Ship-Trap Island,"' Whitney replied." A suggestivename, isn't it? Sailors have a curious dread of the place. I don't know why. Some superstition--" "Can't seeit," remarked Rainsford, trying to peer through the dank tropical night that was palpable as it pressed itsthick warm blackness in upon the yacht. "You've good eyes," said Whitney, with a laugh," and I've seenyou pick off a moose moving in the brown fall bush at four hundred yards, but even you can't see fourmiles or so through a moonless Caribbean night." "Nor four yards," admitted Rainsford. "Ugh! It's likemoist black velvet." "It will be light enough in Rio," promised Whitney. "We should make it in a fewdays. I hope the jaguar guns have come from Purdy’s. We should have some good hunting up theAmazon. Great sport, hunting." "The best sport in the world," agreed Rainsford. "For the hunter,"amended Whitney. "Not for the jaguar." "Don't talk rot, Whitney," said Rainsford. "You're a big-gamehunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?" "Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney."Bah! They've no understanding."

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We can conclude that Whitney is more empathetic than Rainsford. Whitney considers animals as having feelings and emotions. Rainsford feels that humans have dominion to hunt animals. He thinks that animals know fear but little else. This will tie into the theme of the story as Rainsford gets hunted on the island.