In "The Most Dangerous Game," what does Zaroff mean by "the world is made up of two classes- the hunters and the huntees."  How does his conflict with Zaroff help Rainsford...

In "The Most Dangerous Game," what does Zaroff mean by "the world is made up of two classes- the hunters and the huntees." 

How does his conflict with Zaroff help Rainsford understand this expression in a new way?

Expert Answers
lizbv eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford clearly states "Who cares what a jaguar feels?" when asked to consider the feelings of his prey.  Of course, this is an easy statement for him to make when he is in the position of power as the hunter; being so far removed from his prey in that he has never known the position of vulnerability, fear, and pain that his prey is in, it is easy for him to not understand, much less care, what his prey is feeling, as he says to Whitney before he ends up on ShipTrap Island.

However, his conflict with Zaroff does change this in that it places him, for the first time ever and quite probably for the first time for ANY hunter, in the position of the prey-- of the huntee.  Rainsford therefore now sees this phrase in a new light; until this point, he would most likely have agreed with this statement because he saw himself as the superior hunter.  Yet his new vulnerability as the huntee forces him to reconsider the feelings of the huntee he once cared nothing to know.

muwesafi | Student

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford clearly states "Who cares what a jaguar feels?" when asked to consider the feelings of his prey.  Of course, this is an easy statement for him to make when he is in the position of power as the hunter; being so far removed from his prey in that he has never known the position of vulnerability, fear, and pain that his prey is in, it is easy for him to not understand, much less care, what his prey is feeling, as he says to Whitney before he ends up on ShipTrap Island.

However, his conflict with Zaroff does change this in that it places him, for the first time ever and quite probably for the first time for ANY hunter, in the position of the prey-- of the huntee.  Rainsford therefore now sees this phrase in a new light; until this point, he would most likely have agreed with this statement because he saw himself as the superior hunter.  Yet his new vulnerability as the huntee forces him to reconsider the feelings of the huntee he once cared nothing to know.

stray | Student

well rainsford gets to see what the animals that he was hunting felt like at the time when they were being hunted.... so he saw how wrong it was to hunt anything..

viny | Student

he means that there are the ones that are hunters and ones that are the pray in this story rainsford was meant to be the pray and zaroff the hunter but in the end zaroff was the pray and rainsford was the hunter

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The Most Dangerous Game

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