In "The Most Dangerous Game," what happens to Ivan?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ivan is killed by a trap that Rainsford set.  

Rainsford is on the run from General Zaroff for another day. Rainsford has had some success evading Zaroff, but Rainsford knows that Zaroff is still playing with him. By the third day, Rainsford knows that he is running out of creative options to throw off Zaroff. It is made even harder on this particular day because Zaroff has brought Ivan and the hunting dogs. In a last-ditch attempt to set a trap for his pursuers, Rainsford ties his knife to a bendable branch. He anchors it to the ground with a trip wire, and then Rainsford runs for his life.

He thought of a native trick he had learned in Uganda. He slid down the tree. He caught hold of a springy young sapling and to it he fastened his hunting knife, with the blade pointing down the trail; with a bit of wild grapevine he tied back the sapling. Then he ran for his life.

Moments later, Rainsford realizes that the dogs have stopped howling. Rainsford risks a quick look behind him, and he hopes to see the dead body of Zaroff. Instead, Rainsford realizes that his knife trap has killed Ivan. Rainsford is disappointed, but he is glad that the trap did get rid of one pursuer.

But the hope that was in Rainsford's brain when he climbed died, for he saw in the shallow valley that General Zaroff was still on his feet. But Ivan was not. The knife, driven by the recoil of the springing tree, had not wholly failed.

parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ivan falls victim to Rainsford's knife, which was used as a spring trap released when walked upon. Zaroff is sorry to lose such a faithful servant and "henchman"; in the same way he laments the loss of his favourite hunting dog, which falls into a staked pit Rainsford had also prepared.

This parallel reinforces the fact that Zaroff makes no distinction between the status of a man and that of an animal. He regards them both in purely a utilitarian way - to satisfy his own compulsive need to kill.

stray | Student

he catches the busness end of rainsford's blade. just like the hound in the tiger pit..


                                                       strayy 3rd coast

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The Most Dangerous Game

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