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How did Zaroff distort Darwin's theory in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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laronard123 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:56 AM via web

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How did Zaroff distort Darwin's theory in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:09 AM (Answer #1)

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Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection basically said that evolution works because only the fittest survive because “some differences may improve the chances of survival of a particular individual” (enotes, natural selection)

Zaroff tells Rainsford that he hunts “more dangerous game” than buffalo.  Humans actually make “capital hunting” for him, “the most exciting hunting in the world.”

When Rainsford tells Zaroff that what he is doing is murder, Zaroff disagrees.

The general laughed with entire good nature. He regarded Rainsford quizzically. "I refuse to believe that so modern and civilized a young man as you seem to be harbors romantic ideas about the value of human life. Surely your experiences in the war--"

Zaroff believes that he is the strongest, and therefore he should survive.  The men he hunts are weak.

"Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure. I am strong. Why should I not use my gift?

Of course, this is a distortion of natural selection.  Zaroff has all of the advantages that he has built into the game, not those from nature.  Yes, he is intelligent and strong.  But he also has guns, dogs, and knowledge of the island.  The men he hunts are at a disadvantage.

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