How are Rainsford's remarks affecting the general? How might this affect future events?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After General Zaroff finally admits that the animals he hunts are men, Mr. Rainsford does not allow him to revel in his madness. Mr. Rainsford says quite candidly, "Thank you, I'm a hunter, not a murderer." The General plays Rainsford's attitude off as nothing affecting him; but, as the argument continues, he does show a spark of anger when Rainsford claims that he isn't civilized because he shoots men rather than animals. General Zaroff's reaction to Rainsford's comments is as follows:

"A trace of anger was in the general's black eyes, but it was there for but a second, and he said, in his most pleasant manner: 'Dear me, what a righteous young man you are! I assure you I do not do the thing you suggest. That would be barbarous.'"

Thus, as shown above, Rainsford's remarks do affect the General even though he refuses to openly admit it. Rainsford's comments do not make the General decide to put him in the game--they merely anger the host. Just the fact that Rainsford washed up on Zaroff's shore makes him a player in the General's game because this is the way the General gets players. Whether  Rainsford had made these condemning comments or not, does not change the fact that he was always going to be the one hunted, and not the hunter when he is asked to participate. Rainsford's comments, however, do encourage the General to prolong the hunt and drag the hunt out as long as possible.

Read the study guide:
The Most Dangerous Game

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