During his first dinner with Rainsford, General Zaroff elaborates on his affinity for hunting and discusses his exploits hunting dangerous, exotic animals from around the world. Zaroff then mentions that he became bored hunting animals because they could only rely upon their natural instincts, which were no match for his intellect. After contemplating his issue, Zaroff decided that he needed to hunt a quarry that could reason and match his wits. He then purchased Ship-Trap Island, where he began to hunt humans. Zaroff's confession appalls Rainsford, who calls him a murderer. Zaroff responds by saying that he is surprised that Rainsford holds such naive, "mid-Victorian" views regarding the value of human life. The general then justifies his actions by telling Rainsford,
Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure. (Connell, 8)
Ironically, the general's justification for hunting humans on his secluded island corresponds to Rainsford's earlier comments to Whitney about the world being made up of two classes, "the hunters and the huntees." Essentially, General Zaroff feels that he is justified for murdering weaker humans because he is stronger than them. It seems he genuinely believes that "inferior" people were put on the earth to give him pleasure.