How did Lazarus die in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Lazarus dies in the quicksand of the Death Swamp when he tries to follow the prey.

Lazarus is one of General Zaroff’s hounds.  He uses them to hunt people.  Zaroff shows much more affection for Lazarus than any humans.

We call it Death Swamp. There's quicksand there. One foolish fellow tried it. The deplorable part of it was that Lazarus followed him.

Zaroff describes Lazarus as “the finest hound in my pack” and says he loved the dog.  He was sad when he died.  He did not care at all for how the man was killed.

The story of Lazarus is a perfect example of how backward Zaroff’s moral code is.  He cares about the dog, but not the person.  He has no problem killing men for fun.

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a good question.  As the previous educator said, Lazarus, one of Zaroff's hounds, died in a swamp, as he was following a huntee.  This piece of information comes out when general Zaroff warns Rainsford about the swamp.  He does not want Rainford to die there, because he wants a greater challenge.  There is also an ironic point about the hound's name.  The name, Lazarus, is found in the New Testament; he is the brother of Mary and Martha.  Jesus loved him and raised him up from the dead.   Lazarus, the hound, here had no such luck; he simply died, as much as Zaroff loved him, which the text explicitly says. 

The deplorable part of it was that Lazarus followed him. You can imagine my feelings, Mr. Rainsford. I loved Lazarus...

From this perspective, general Zaroff is the anti-Christlike figure. 



There is another important point to consider.  Zaroff, as the architect of the game, always has the advantage.  Not only does he have Ivan to help him and knowledge of the terrain, he also has a dozen hounds to track the huntee.  All that Rainsford is given is clothes, food, and a knife. Here is the quote:

Then a businesslike air animated him. "Ivan," he said to Rainsford, "will supply you with hunting clothes, food, a knife. 




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