At the beginning of Connell's celebrated short story "The Most Dangerous Game," Rainsford and Whitney discuss the sport of hunting and have completely opposite views on the relationship between the hunter and prey. When Rainsford remarks that hunting is the best sport in the world, Whitney sympathizes with the prey by saying, "For the hunter... Not for the jaguar" (Connell, 1). Rainsford proceeds to criticize Whitney and could care less about the prey. Rainsford even asks, "Who cares how a jaguar feels?" (Connell, 1). Whitney continues to view the sport of hunting from the jaguar's perspective and believes that animals can sense fear, pain, and danger while they are being hunted.
Rainsford continues to disagree with Whitney, states that animals cannot comprehend their dire circumstances, and encourages him to be a realist. He also believes that animals cannot experience emotions and simply function on instinct. Rainsford then comments,
The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees. (Connell, 1)
Rainsford believes in survival of the fittest and feels that a dominant, superior human has the authority to take the life of an animal. His narrow, intolerant philosophy of dividing the world into two classes parallels General Zaroff's personal philosophy that "Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong" (Connell, 8). Ironically, Rainsford falls off the yacht and swims to Ship-Trap Island, where he becomes Zaroff's prey and discovers what it is like to be hunted by a superior being. Throughout his experience, Rainsford develops sympathy for animals and understands the same feelings of terror, anxiety, and pain animals experience after avoiding General Zaroff during the most dangerous game.