How are Rainsford and Zaroff different, and how are they alike in "The Most Dangerous Game"?  

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The protagonist and antagonist of the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" share at least one similarity. Rainsford and Zaroff both love the thrill of the hunt, and they have travelled to different parts of the world to kill the big game they view as their greatest challenge. However, the two men differ in most other respects. Where Rainsford travels the globe to seek big game, Zaroff has isolated himself on a remote island in the Caribbean, stocking the it with many of the same animals that Rainsford seeks. Rainsford is still an enthusiastic hunter, while Zaroff has grown bored with the sport. But the biggest division between the two men is their idea of killing: Rainsford restricts his hunt to animals, while Zaroff has moved on to the human prey. This repulses Rainsford, and he wants no part of Zaroff's game nor his hospitality. Forced to play the game anyway, Rainsford proves a skillful adversary for Zaroff; and when the game is over, Zaroff honorably names Rainsford the winner. But by this time, Rainsford's values have changed, and he is ready to play Zaroff's game himself--this time as the hunter. 

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The Most Dangerous Game

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