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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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The Most Dangerous Game Short Summary

What is a short summary of "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell?

Rainsford is a big game hunter who enjoys hunting, but after falling off of his yacht, he finds himself stranded on Ship-Trap Island. Eventually, he finds his way to the home of General Zaroff, who has been hunting humans for sport. Zaroff invites Rainsford to play with him, but Rainsford refuses. Zaroff forces Rainsford to play anyway and reveals that the reason he invited him into his home was because he had been hunting him for three days; the gunshots Rainsford heard earlier were from Zaroff's dogs tracking him down. He tells Rainsford that if he can stay alive in the jungle for three days, then he can leave unharmed.

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Richard Connell takes his readers on a journey into the depths of the human psyche in his short story "The Most Dangerous Game." The story opens on a yacht in the Caribbean as Sanger Rainsford and his friend Whitney sail to South America in search of big game. Rainsford, a world-class hunter, feels no remorse for the animals he kills, but all that changes when he is startled by the sound of gunshots and falls off the yacht into dark waters while the ship sleeps.

He survives the accident and ends up on what superstitious sailors call Ship-Trap Island. After he rests for some time on the shore, he goes in search of help. Eventually, he reaches a grand estate. He knocks on the door and is greeted by a large man named Ivan who is a servant to the owner, General Zaroff.

Zaroff is pleased when he sees the hunter and invites him in. They sit down for dinner, and Zaroff explains the true meaning of the story's title. Zaroff tells Rainsford that he's grown bored of hunting, but he has finally found the most dangerous game. Zaroff reveals he has been hunting humans and challenges Rainsford to play his game. Rainsford vehemently refuses, but the following afternoon, Zaroff forces him to play.

Zaroff has simple rules for his newfound game. He gives his prey some supplies and a three-hour head start. If his prey is able to stay alive for three days, they may leave unharmed.

Rainsford is sent into the jungle, and even though he is scared, he has no choice but to play if he wants to live. He tries creating false trails and booby-traps, but to no avail, as Zaroff figures out his every move. However, Rainsford is able to take down one of Zaroff's dogs and Ivan with his clever tricks.

During his last attempt at disarming Zaroff, Rainsford realizes he has nowhere to run. He makes the choice to jump off a cliff back into the sea from which he came. Zaroff, assuming Rainsford has died from the fall, heads back to the house, eats dinner, and goes to bed.

As Zaroff enters his bedroom, he finds Rainsford hiding behind a curtain. Zaroff admits defeat, but this ending isn't good enough for Rainsford. They fight, and Rainsford wins. With Zaroff and Ivan gone, Rainsford gets into bed and sleeps his troubles away.

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"The Most Dangerous Game", a short story by Richard Connell, was first published in Collier's in 1924 and has since been reprinted and adapted to film several times.

The protagonist of the story, Sanger Rainsford, is an American army veteran and renowned big game hunter who is sailing to Brazil to hunt jaguars. As his yacht passes near Ship-Trap Island, he falls overboard accidentally and swims to shore. There he finds a mansion inhabited by the evil Russian Cossack General Zaroff and his deaf-mute servant and torturer Ivan. Zaroff has become bored by hunting animals and now lures ships to his island and captures and hunts shipwrecked sailors. When Rainsford refuses to join in the sport of hunting humans, he becomes one of the hunted.

Rainsford is given three days in which he must elude Zaroff and his hounds; if he survives, he will be set free. The bulk of the story consists of a series of stratagems Rainsford uses to elude Zaroff. Eventually, Rainsford jumps in the sea, swims back to the house, and ambushes and kills Zaroff in Zaroff's bedroom. 

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"The Most Dangerous Game" is a story of a man named Rainsford who must swim to shelter and safety after losing his footing on a yacht and falling overboard. He finds refuge in an island and is welcomed by General Zaroff at his palatial home where he is treated kindly, being fed, warmed and welcomed. As the conversation at Zaroff's dinner table continues, Rainsford learns that his host is a big game hunter who has recently started hunting humans, setting traps to lure sailors to this island in order to hunt them, but has since become bored with this. After learning this, Rainsford demands to leave the island, but Zaroff will not allow it, and instead gives Rainsford three days to survive Zaroff's hunt. Rainsford is able to survive the hunt, which in the first day Zaroff allows, and bests Zaroff's partner, Ivan. On the third day Rainsford outsmarts Zaroff ultimately ending up behind the curtains in Zaroff's bedroom. In the end, we learn that Rainsford has killed Zaroff thus winning "the game."

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Rainsford falls overboard while on a ship.  He swims to the closest island, Ship-Trap Island.  On the island he finds a house owned by a great hunter named Zaroff.  Zaroff welcomes him and asks him to join in a hunt.  Rainsford refuses and then Zaroff tells Rainsford he will be the hunted.  They try to outwit each other and according to inferences in the story we can assume Rainsford ends up killing Zaroff and sleeping in Zaroffs bed the next night.

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"The Most Dangerous Game" takes place on Ship-Trap Island.  Rainsford swims to the island after falling off the ship on which he is traveling.  On the island, Rainsford finds food and lodging with its sole human inhabitants, General Zaroff and his henchman, Ivan.  Zaroff, a world-famous hunter, reveals that he intends to hunt Rainsford, since he finds hunting humans most exciting.  Through intelligence and cleverness, Rainsford manages to elude Zaroff and is waiting in the General's bedroom when he returns.  The story insinuates that Rainsford ends Zaroff's life.

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