What types of bias are there in the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Edward Connell?

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Edward Connell displays bias first by omission. Both central characters in the story are wealthy, able-bodied, white men. 

The evil characters are both Russian Cossacks from Crimea, which reflects a strong bias against Russians. Ivan, the disabled deaf mute servant in the story is an evil torturer. The hunted men are described by Zaroff as "the scum of the earth: sailors from tramp ships--lassars, blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels", but the narrator does not encounter or  describe them. All of them fail to outwit Zaroff on the hunt. The only person who can match or challenge Zaroff is also a wealthy white American man, Rainsford.

While Rainsford disagrees with hunting humans on principle, he does not at any point disagree with the central assumption of the inferiority of other races. The narrative logic of the story, in fact, suggests (probably incorrectly) that a rich white sport hunter would be more skilled at hunting than people from cultures where hunting skill is still a matter of survival. The story suggests a hierarchy in which the apex of skill and intelligence is found in the white wealthy anglophone male, the next level in the white educated, wealthy "foreigner" or "other", and the lowest level of skill and intellect in non-whites or poor whites.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,919 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question