Does Rainsford really kill Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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mercut1469's profile pic

mercut1469 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In the final part of Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game," General Zaroff returns to his chateau, has dinner, and reads from the "works of Marcus Aurelius." He laments the loss of Ivan and that Rainsford had not played the game fairly. Instead of submitting to the general, Rainsford leaped into the sea, presumably to his death. But when Zaroff goes to his bedroom he discovers Rainsford alive and hiding in the "curtains of the bed." Zaroff quickly congratulates Rainsford and informs him that he has "won the game." For Rainsford, however, he is still a "beast at bay" and so the game must end in death, either his or Zaroff's. The general is quite pleased that Rainsford wishes to continue: "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard Rainsford..." Since Rainsford comments in the story's last line on how good the bed was, the reader must assume that he has killed Zaroff. Whether he actually fed the general to the dogs (a "repast" is a meal) is never known. 

allyson's profile pic

allyson | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Yes, Rainsford did really kill General Zaroff. In the story, it says, "The general made one of his deepest bows. 'I see,' he said. "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford....'" From this, we know that the two men are going to fight and that only one man will sleep in the bed and the other will be dog food. Because the next/last line states, "He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided," we know that General Zaroff became dog food.

chocolate975's profile pic

chocolate975 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

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Yes he does get killed because in the story he is like on guard and rainsford was in zaroff's bed so he won by killing him.

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