How can you persuade General Zaroff that life is too precious to be used as a "game"?Rainsford is horrified when he learns that Zaroff hunts humans , but he fails to convince Zaroff to change his...

How can you persuade General Zaroff that life is too precious to be used as a "game"?

Rainsford is horrified when he learns that Zaroff hunts humans , but he fails to convince Zaroff to change his ways. Write a persuasive essay in which you try to persuade Zaroff that human life is too precious to be used as a "game." Use reasons and evidence in your arguement that you thinkZaroff will find convincing.

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Most Dangerous Game" is an interesting story of one man's overwhelming thirst for adventure and challenge, in this case through the act of hunting. Convincing General Zaroff that life is precious and should not be taken at his whim is an exercise in futility. There is no way that anyone, especially a fellow hunter, is going to convince Zaroff to quit hunting his prey. This is a man whose entire life has been dedicated to either teaching soldiers to kill or killing wild animals for the thrill of it. He has set elaborate traps to ensure he has enough men to hunt, he has made his island a series of traps and pitfalls for his prey, and his thirst has escalated to such an extent that only killing humans provides him the thrill he once got in hunting wild animals.

General Zaroff is not a rational man, so rational arguments are not likely to work; however, there are some rational arguments one could make to justify that taking a life is morally wrong. Murder, which is what Zaroff does, is a crime and is against the law worldwide. Murder is unjust and presumes that one person's life is of more worth than another's. This despicable act puts the murderer in the role of making personal and permanent judgment on a fellow human being, something totally immoral in a world of flawed, sinful people. There is no knowing what might be lost to the rest of the world when a life is taken, and of course there is lots of room to talk about God and judgment if those are part of your morality. In any case, though, such arguments only work with people who are moved by morality. Zaroff is not.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the first answer that Zaroff is not at all likely to be persuaded to stop hunting people.  However, since the question seems to assume that you can, I will try.

I think the best way to get him to stop hunting would be to appeal to his aristocratic instincts.  The man sees himself as some sophisticated high-class person.  You would need to persuade him that people like that value life.  Since he wants to be seen that way, perhaps the "peer pressure" would influence him.

I don't think it will work because Zaroff is pretty evil, but it's the only plausible possibility that I can see.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This implies that Zaroff has human emotions.  He could possibly have no empathy, because he does not act like he has any.  For example, when Ivan dies Zaroff only regrets having to replace him.  He feels no sympathy for Ivan.  He certainly feels no sympathy for Rainsford.  Zaroff does not believe that there is any innate value in human life, and he does not feel empathy, so he is not likely to be convinced.

Read the study guide:
The Most Dangerous Game

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question