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The image of the majestic chateau mounted upon formidable cliffs seems a mirage to Rainsford after his desperate swim to shore. For, here on an island of the Caribbean is a castle from the other side of the world. But, yet, there is something sinister in it which foreshadows dangers ahead for Sanger Rainsford because of the highs cliff upon which it is placed, the "medieval magnificence" of it that suggests the base, cruel image of General Zaroff, whose many animals that he has shot are stuffed and mounted on the walls as "[A]t the great table the general was sitting alone."
Then, in contrast to these images, there is the refined meal that is served Rainsford.
"We do our best to preserve the amenities of civilization here.
And, there is the presence of General Zaroff, who is in evening dress and appears to be a cosmopolitan, but speaks of his many conquests and analytical mind.
Certainly, the sophistication of the table settings and the appearance of the general's chateau create a munificence and worldliness that belie the true nature of the antagonist. This description also foreshadows what is to come as Rainsford's climbing of the cliff is some task.
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