Describe General Zaroff's physical appearance & personality in "The Most Dangerous Game."

2 Answers

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Zaroff's personality, I believe, can best be described as calculating. Although a highly civilized man who has all the best pleasures of the world in food and drink, it took him no time to begin sizing up Rainsford as if Rainsford were a common simple animal. Zaroff would also demonstrate a sense of equity to his prey giving them good clothes, a set of rules, and the opportunity for a good night's rest before he played the most dangerous game with them.

Zaroff is a General, thus I think you could imagine the military clean cut features of a man. He is shorter than Rainsford and is Russian. A white man, he is often depicted in literature anthologies with a handlebar-type mustache. I see him smoking a long cigarette and alway appearing in beautiful fabrics and expensive clothes, except on the hunt.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Although we know little about Sanger Rainsford's physical appearance, we do know that General Zaroff

was a tall man past middle age, for his hair was a vivid white; but his thick eyebrows and pointed military mustache were as black as night...

Rainsford describes Zaroff as "singularly handsome" with a "bizarre quality" to his face. His eyes were also black, and he presented an "aristocratic" bearing with his 

high cheekbones, a sharpcut nose, a spare, dark face...

When Zaroff smiled, he bore red lips and "pointed" teeth that often included a long, perfumed cigarette. We can assume that Zaroff and Rainsford were about the same size, since Zaroff provided him with clothing (" 'my clothes,' " Zaroff says) that proved to be a satisfactory fit.

(No doubt the gigantic Ivan was much larger than either of the other men; he was "the largest man" Rainsford had ever seen.)