Describe the Malay man-catcher in "The Most Dangerous Game."

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Appalled when he learns that the Russian general Zaroff hunts "the most dangerous game" of all, men, Rainsford asks to be allowed to leave the island only to learn that the only way he will be allowed to do so is if he succeeds in outwitting the general at the hunt the next day. After fighting his way in the night through heavy brush, Rainsford creates a trail that winds and loops back upon itself. However, Zaroff easily follows him. So, after terror-filled moments when the hunter stands beneath the tree in which he hides, calmly smoking Rainsford decides to set a trap: the Malay man-catcher.

When he sees a great dead tree that dangerously leans upon a living one, Rainsford takes his knife and fashions a trap that is made by balancing the dead tree upon the living one, one of whose boughs on the ground protrudes as a trigger. When this bough is stepped on, it sets off the trap, freeing the dead bough to drop upon the victim, crushing him. When Zaroff sets off the trigger bough, he jumps back "with the agility of an ape." However, he does injure his shoulder. Turning back to have his wound dressed, Zaroff calls to Rainsford, congratulating him. "You are proving interesting, Mr. Rainsford...But I shall be back...."

Here is the full movie of The Most Dangerous Game, so you may be able to see some of the traps in action:

Read the study guide:
The Most Dangerous Game

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