In "The Most Dangerous Game" Zaroff is glad that Rainsford is on the island, but why?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Sanger Rainsford wanders to his elegant chateau's door, General Zaroff is delighted as the "celebrated hunter" introduces himself because now he will have someone to challenge him in hunting skills.

As they dine in the evening of the first day that Rainsford arrives on Shipwreck Island, the bizarre Russian tells Rainsford that he reached a point of satiety with hunting big game; therefore, he now hunts "more dangerous game" because he lives for danger. This "new sensation" is the hunt for another human being because he enjoys "the problems of the chase."

After hearing this remark by Zaroff, Rainsford is appalled, and tells his host that he cannot condone "cold-blooded murder" as a mere hunt. However, Zaroff insists that life is for the strong, and the weak of the world are placed on the earth for the pleasure of the strong.

Ironically, Zaroff's words echo Rainsford's abrupt dismissal of concern for the hunted in his discussion with Whitney when he has said, "Who cares how a jaguar feels." Furthermore, during the days that follow, Rainsford, who previously has been unconcerned for beasts at bay, now finds himself in this position to the delight of the deranged General Zaroff who hunts him.

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The Most Dangerous Game

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