How does Zaroff stock the island with game in "The Most Dangerous Game?"

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

General Zaroff stocks his island with game from ships that run aground on the giant rocks.

General Zaroff is a diabolical man, who got so bored with hunting that he decided that no animal could challenge him anymore.  Instead, he decided to hunt human beings.  When a famed hunter named Rainsford falls off a ship and lands on his on Zaroff’s island, he is shocked to learn that Zaroff is hunting men.

Zaroff comments that the island is known as Ship-Trap Island for a reason, because it is dangerous to ships due to the rocks and stormy seas.  “Providence” often sends him ships run aground full of sailors to use as “game” for his hunting.  However, if he doesn’t get any men this way, he can stock his island himself by a system he has devised.  He shows Rainsford that he can push a button and lights will blink.

The general chuckled. "They indicate a channel," he said, "where there's none; giant rocks with razor edges crouch like a sea monster with wide-open jaws. They can crush a ship as easily as I crush this nut."

This demonstrates Zaroff’s callousness and cruelty.  He is not only willing to kill men, he will also capture them wholesale with a fake light that tells ships it is safe to cross the water, when in reality it is not.  Zaroff does not just hunt men in a fair game.  He quite possibly sends them to their death with his fake safe passage lights.

Zaroff thinks of no one but himself.  His needs are paramount over everyone else’s.  If he is bored, that is all that matters.  The fact that he laughs shows the depths of his depravity.  If he wants to play a game, why not kill or capture men by the dozens and hundreds?  What does it matter?  He scoffs when Rainsford considers what does murder, and he tells Rainsford he is civilized, but he is nothing but a callous and selfish murderer.

thewanderlust878 | Student

Zaroff is a very intelligent, cunning, and quick-witted man. He is also a dangerous and evil individual. Once he hunted the animals on the island, but because of his skill and bloodlust, all the animals quickly ran out. So, being the intelligent man that he is, he set up fake lighthouses on the edges of the island to attract ships. The ships would wreck in the sharp rocks surrounding the island, and Zaroff would capture the crew and use them to hunt. 

Hope this helps!

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The Most Dangerous Game

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