In "The Most Dangerous Game," after his first meeting with Zaroff, Rainsford spends a sleepless night because he cannot "quiet his brain."  Why?I would like to better understand the story and...

In "The Most Dangerous Game," after his first meeting with Zaroff, Rainsford spends a sleepless night because he cannot "quiet his brain."  Why?

I would like to better understand the story and would like to know what others think goes through his mind, as well what his reaction is to his first day on ShipTrap Island

Asked on by anwar009

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As a seasoned hunter, Rainsford of "The Most Dangerous Game" is disturbed by the reflections of Zaroff that he has become jaded by hunting wild game.  When Zaroff states that he "had to invent a new animal to hunt," Rainsford is taken aback:  "A new animal? You're joking."  Rainsford here  suspects that Zaroff's reply is going to be bizarre.  But he is bewildered and then appalled.  When Zaroff suggests that the "new animal" must be able to reason, Rainsford gasps, "But you can't mean--"

Zaroff then explains that his prey comes to him because of his island which is aptly name "Ship-Trap Island."  He blandly describes to Rainsford his "game" what he has with captives from shipwrecked vessels.  After this conversation, Rainsford excuses himself, "I'm really not feeling at all well."  Zaroff suggests that they hunt on the morrow:  "I've one rather promising prospect--"

In bed, Rainsford can not sleep.  He is wondering if he will become the prey for tomorrow's hunt since he could be the "promising prospect" of whom Zaroff speaks; afterall, he is an renowned hunter himself and would provide quite a challenge to the sadistic general.  With this thought in mind, Rainsford could easily wonder where the hunt would begin, what type of terrain lies outside the chateau, how he would defend himself, where he could go, what he would do even if he did kill Zaroff.  Rainsford gets up and goes to the windows.  All is dark, but the vicious dogs hear him and look up "expectantly, with their green eyes."  Will Rainsford be their next victim?  With only a disturbed sleep Rainsford rests uneasily in a doze until he is awakened by "the faint report of a pistol."  Rainsford knows that either Zaroff or one of the captives has been killed.

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