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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how is setting important to the hunt? How does it influence both Rainsford and Zaroff?

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Richard Connell's story "The Most Dangerous Game" is set on a remote island that is part General Zaroff's luxurious compound and part jungle, a setting perfect for Zaroff's newest game: hunting humans.

Zaroff has tired of hunting animals. They simply don't offer him enough of a challenge, so he decides to hunt humans instead. The General usually obtains his prey by misguiding ships into the dangerous rocks around the island. Then he keeps his prey in his compound until he lets them loose into the jungle to get a thrill out of hunting them down. It's a game for Zaroff. If he wins, the prey dies. If the prey manages to win, he can go free. Zaroff always wins, for there is really no escape off the island.

When Rainsford ends up on Zaroff's island, he becomes the General's next prey. When the game begins, Rainsford thinks that the jungle island will be his worst enemy, so to speak, but it ends up a benefit to him. He uses his ingenuity and the jungle to escape from Zaroff and Ivan and even kill Ivan and defeat the pack of hounds. Then, Rainsford takes to the water and swims out to sea. Zaroff thinks he has escaped, but Rainsford actually swims around the island and reenters the compound. Rainsford then confronts Zaroff and wins the game once and for all. He has made the jungle island setting work for him.

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