The Most Dangerous Game Short Summary

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

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"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. 

kcogliano eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"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."

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"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.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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

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