The Most Dangerous Game

What theme of Richard Connell’s story “The Most Dangerous Game” comes through in this excerpt?

…We should have some good hunting up the Amazon. Great sport, hunting."

"The best sport in the world."

"For the hunter," amended Whitney. "Not for the jaguar."

"Don't talk rot, Whitney," said Rainsford. "You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?"

"Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney.

"Bah! They've no understanding."

"Even so, I rather think they understand one thing—fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death."

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The opening of the story introduces the reader to some important themes. First, Rainsford and Whitney’s conversations about the pleasure of hunting highlights the plight of the animal. Rainsford is a skeptic and thinks that animals do not experience many feelings or thoughts. He clearly establishes a hierarchy between man and beast. It is this relationship, between the hunter and the hunted, that is revisited numerous times throughout the work.