How do Ivan and the general contrast with each other in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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On the surface, these two characters could not be more different. Ivan is a great, hulking brute of a man with a great beard. He is also incapable of speech as a deaf-mute and gives off a grotesque vibe. In contrast, General Zaroff is described as handsome and cultured. He has a "cultivated voice" and possesses all the charms of an aristocrat when he first meets Rainsofrd.

Though General Zaroff is more cultured and erudite than Ivan, not to mention his social superior, deep down both are sadistic brutes. General Zaroff's sophistication is only a veneer which hides his animalistic cruelty. It turns out he and Ivan are truly kindred spirits, taking pleasure in inflicting pain and viewing other human beings as prey.

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Physically, the contrasts are enormous. But then, Ivan contrasts with pretty much everyone on the physical level, being such a massive great hulk of a man. As a deaf mute, he's unable to speak, so inevitably lacks the eloquence of his master, the General. Zaroff is also quite a handsome fellow, in stark contrast to the gigantic man mountain Cossack with a long black beard down to his waist.

Zaroff may be a complete psychopath with a total disregard for human life, but he still retains the polished manners of a European aristocrat. Ivan doesn't really go in for manners much. But then he doesn't need to; he's just there to frighten, intimidate, and generally act as Zaroff's all-purpose thug. A giant he may be, but gentle he is not. Ivan takes after the General in getting a kick out of hurting people, except he's much less good at hiding it than his slick, sophisticated master.

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