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Richard Connell's short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," opens with Rainsford and his friend Whitney relaxing aboard their yacht shortly after nightfall. Their discussion first centers around the mysterious Ship-Trap Island, of which "Sailors have a curious dread." (This conversation foreshadows the later events on the island.) The two men then move on to talk of their greatest love--big game hunting. They both agree that it is the greatest sport in the world, but Whitney adds
"For the hunter... Not for the jaguar."
Rainsford calls this talk "rot," claiming that animals have no feelings, no understanding. But Whitney disagrees.
"Even so, I rather think they understand one thing--fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death."
Again, Rainsford disagrees, pointing out that
"The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters."
Their conversation foreshadows not only the reversal of positions that Rainsford will face when he his hunted by Zaroff, but also of the fear that Rainsford--as the hunted--will feel during his time on the run.
Whitney later talks of the ominous "evil" and the "mental chill; a sort of sudden dread," that he felt when they passed the island. Rainsford calls it "Pure imagination," but the conversation further foreshadows the evil nature of the man who inhabits Ship-Trap Island.
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