Both conversations parallel each other and concern the relationship between the hunter and prey. In Rainsford's conversation with Whitney at the beginning of the story, Rainsford states that hunting is the best sport in the world, and Whitney responds by saying, "For the hunter ... Not for the jaguar." Rainsford casually replies that prey do not have any feelings, and Whitney disagrees by saying that animals experience fear and pain. Rainsford responds by saying that the world is made up of two classes, "the hunters and the huntees." He lacks sympathy for the animals he is hunting and believes that he has the inalienable right to exercise his strength by hunting vulnerable creatures.
During Rainsford's initial conversation with General Zaroff, the general admits to hunting humans throughout his island, which shocks and appalls Rainsford. The general lacks sympathy for his prey in the same way Rainsford lacks sympathy for the animals he hunts. Zaroff goes on to say,
Life is for the strong,...
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