Homework Help

In "The Most Dangerous Game," why might Rainsford turn out to be the next General?

user profile pic

setsunari | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM via web

dislike 4 like

In "The Most Dangerous Game," why might Rainsford turn out to be the next General?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

After beating Zaroff's game by diving into seemingly deadly waters, Rainsford returns to the chateau and hides in General Zaroff's bedroom. He manages to fight Zaroff to the death, defeats him, and spends the night in his bed. Although his goals were always to escape the island and return to civilization, the last line of the story is deliberately ambiguous: "He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided" (Connell).

The implication could be that Rainsford has discovered the thrill of hunting man, just as Zaroff assured him he would. Without Ivan the second-in-command to countermand his order, Rainsford could easily become the new General of the chateau, ordering the other servants to continue bringing men for hunting.

However, there is no clear answer. Rainsford's attitude in the beginning of the story is similar to Zaroff's, claiming that all life is hunter and prey. When confronted with the natural result of this philosophy, he rebels and fights against Zaroff's oppression. His fight against being hunted unwittingly turns out to play along with the theme, as he acts first as cornered prey and then, instead of trying to leave the island, returns and "hunts" Zaroff.

If Rainsford is truly bitten by the man-hunting bug as Zaroff was, he could take over and become General Rainsford. If not, he could return to shore and expose Zaroff's crimes. Either way, the experience has changed him forever.


user profile pic

boeing | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

you know there are so many political points in the story.to be short and clear,first of all,you should know that Rainsford is the symbole of America and Zaroff is for Russia.as it was written during the cold war,the Author suggests that there are two big powers for all the world and they are US an Russia,since there should be only one king and ruler for all the world so there is no unity between these two.(only one should survie.so the author blieaved that there would be a great war between these two countries and one will survive  and that is US.as you see at the end Rainsord could easily escape the island but he came back and finished his job and killed Zaroff and became the new world ruler for the island 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes