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In Richard Edward Connell's short story The Most Dangerous Game, General Zaroff has grown weary of hunting markedly inferior beings of both the human and animal variety. Even the more skilled and intelligent of the sailors he has captured are no match for his cunning, for his knowledge of the island's geographical features, for his pack of highly-trained hunting dogs, and for his firearm -- the latter a particularly important advantage when hunting a human armed only with a knife. In Rainsford, however, the general has found prey equal to his own knowledge and skill of hunting. Three times during the course of the hunt, he congratulates Rainsford on the latter's ingenuity and skill, first, when the general discovers the Malay mancatcher his prey had erected that wounded the pursuer's shoulder. The second instance, again, occurs when the general survives one of Rainsford's traps, this time when a Burmese tiger pit fails to further wound the general but does kill his best dog. The final instance of the general commending Rainsford occurs at the story's end, when Zaroff is surprised by the appearance in his bedroom of his former prey, now-turned executioner. "I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game."
For General Zaroff, this has, indeed, all been a game, albeit a deadly one. He has, finally, met his match, and he is impressed by Rainsford's superior "gamesmanship." Hunting, after all, is a sport, and the general is commending Rainsford for the latter's superior play.
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