The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Edward Connell

The Most Dangerous Game book cover
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What are two significant quotes from "The Most Dangerous Game" that show characterization?

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One quote for Rainsford comes during his first meeting with General Zaroff, as they discuss the hunt and Zaroff's new vocation.

"I can't believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a grisly joke."

"Why should I not be serious? I am speaking of hunting."

"Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder."

 Rainsford, although a skilled and experienced hunter, clearly defines the difference between ment and animals. His knowledge of killing does not make him a sociopath, but a man with a specific skillset. He refuses to accept the notion that humans are fair game for hunting, and instead continues to think of Zaroff's actions as murder, even when he emulates them.

One quote for General Zaroff occurs during the hunt, when Rainsford has laid a false trail and climbed a tree to escape. Zaroff tracks him to the tree but then leaves instead of "finding" him.

The general was playing with him! The general was saving him for another day's sport! The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse.
(Quotes: Connell, "The Most Dangerous Game,"

This quote shows Zaroff's cruel and deliberate nature; instead of ending the hunt and proving his superior tracking skills, he makes a conscious decision to prolong the hunt for his own amusement. By letting Rainsford live, he is both showing off his own ability and telling Rainsford by implication that he is as good as dead. However, Zaroff prefers that the hunt continue, since he has begun to feel bored with hunting normal people, and finds Rainsford's skills exciting.


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