How can I write a thesis statement for "The Most Dangerous Game" addressing the excerpt below? General Zaroff had an exceedingly good dinner in his great paneled dining hall that evening. With it he had a bottle of Pol Roger and half a bottle of Chambertin. Two slight annoyances kept him from perfect enjoyment. One was the thought that it would be difficult to replace Ivan; the other was that his quarry had escaped him; of course, the American hadn't played the game--so thought the general as he tasted his after-dinner liqueur. In his library he read, to soothe himself, from the works of Marcus Aurelius. At ten he went up to his bedroom. He was deliciously tired, he said to himself, as he locked himself in. There was a little moonlight, so, before turning on his light, he went to the window and looked down at the courtyard. He could see the great hounds, and he called, "Better luck another time," to them. Then he switched on the light. A man, who had been hiding in the curtains of the bed, was standing there. "Rainsford!" screamed the general. "How in God's name did you get here?" "Swam," said Rainsford. "I found it quicker than walking through the jungle." The general sucked in his breath and smiled. "I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game." Rainsford did not smile. "I am still a beast at bay," he said, in a low, hoarse voice. "Get ready, General Zaroff." The general made one of his deepest bows. "I see," he said. "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford." . . . He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A thesis statement has to address the prompt in a simple, direct, and clear way.  From the information you have provided, I am guessing you are trying to write a thesis statement about the ending of the story.  From this ending, we learn that Zaroff was not expecting Rainsford to...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

A thesis statement has to address the prompt in a simple, direct, and clear way.  From the information you have provided, I am guessing you are trying to write a thesis statement about the ending of the story.  From this ending, we learn that Zaroff was not expecting Rainsford to come in and kill him.  We also learn that Rainsford feels no qualms about killing Zaroff.  There are many ways you can go with this.  Here is an example.

The ending of “The Most Dangerous Game” shows that Zaroff has succeeded in turning Rainsford into a murderer.

Rainsford refuses to participate in Zaroff’s game, because he considered hunting human beings wrong.  Zaroff thought this was a quaint attitude.  To him, it was survival of the fittest.  If he won and his victims lost, it was because they were inferior.

When Rainsford first finds out what Zaroff is really doing on the island, he is horrified.

“… I'll wager you'll forget your notions when you go hunting with me. You've a genuine new thrill in store for you, Mr. Rainsford."

"Thank you, I'm a hunter, not a murderer."

"Dear me," said the general, quite unruffled, "again that unpleasant word. But I think I can show you that your scruples are quite ill founded."

If Rainsford feels so strongly about this, how does he end up killing Zaroff after he has won the game?  The answer results in the psychological trauma that Zaroff puts Rainsford through.  So while you are answering the prompt based on the end of the story, you will need to go back and cite evidence that Rainsford was under severe stress and duress, enough to affect him for life.

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. Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror.

"I will not lose my nerve. I will not."

This explains why Rainsford was willing to kill Zaroff.  He had a terrible time, laying traps and just getting away, when all the time Zaroff was messing with his head.  When Rainsford made it back to Zaroff and surprised him, he wanted to end things once and for all.  He slept soundly and will no qualms or doubts because his time in the jungle changed him.  He was now willing to take a human life.

 

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team