Why is Zaroff bored with hunting animals?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Zaroff tells Rainsford that he became bored with hunting because he was too good at tracking and killing animals and because modern weaponry had given human hunters too much of an advantage over their quarry. "...hunting had ceased to be what you call 'a sporting proposition." It had become too easy. Zaroff was alarmed by this realization because hunting had always been the most important thing in his life. "No animal had a chance with me any more," he tells Rainsford. "When I thought of this it was a tragic moment for me, I can tell you."

The conversation between the two hunters not only explains Zaroff's motivation for hunting "the most dangerous game," but it also shows that Zaroff is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable hunters. When Rainsford realizes that he himself will be the quarry, he understands the kind of expertise he is up against. Richard Connell goes to great lengths to establish that the protagonist (Zaroff) and the antagonist (Rainsford) are evenly matched. Connell also goes to great lengths to make his protagonist's weird form of recreation believable.


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