Before arriving at the island, what is Rainsford's position on hunting in "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell begins on a yacht. The ship is sailing through the Caribbean on its way to Rio de Janeiro where Sanger Rainsford plans to hunt jaguar in the Amazon. 

Rainsford and Whitney, the ship's captain, have a short philosophical discussion about hunting. Whitney believes hunting is a "great sport," but only for the hunter. Rainsford thinks Whitney is being a bit soft-hearted, and he tells the captain he should not "talk rot." Though Rainsford does not care in the least about how the jaguar feels about being hunted, Whitney believes that the jaguar certainly understands two fears, the fear of pain and death. 

"Nonsense," laughed Rainsford. "This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters."

By the next evening, Rainsford's strong position on this subject will waver; for now, however, he feels quite certain that there are only these two categories in life. 

lauren-q | Student

Before arriving on the island, Rainsford showed no sympathy towards the game that he hunted.  When Whitney told Rainsford that the sport of hunting is not fun for jaguars, Rainsford said:

"Don't talk rot, Whitney.  You're a big game hunter, not a philosopher.  Who cares how a jaguar feels?" 

He also said:

"This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney.  Be a realist.  The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees.  Luckily, you and I are hunters."

Rainsford goes from being a hunter to a huntee when he arrives on Zaroff's Ship-Trap island.

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The Most Dangerous Game

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