The Most Dangerous Game Questions and Answers
by Richard Edward Connell

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Is Rainsford's conflict with Zaroff internal or external (from Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game"). 

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Sanger Rainsford's conflict with General Zaroff is an example of a man versus man conflict, which is an external conflict. In the short story, Sanger Rainsford is trapped on General Zaroff's island and is forced to survive for three days as the maniacal general hunts him. Rainsford is forced to survive and maneuver through the wilderness while he is being followed by the general, who carries a loaded weapon. Rainsford's man versus man conflict is considered external because he must overcome an opposing force from outside himself. Another external conflict that Rainsford must overcome is the difficult natural environment of the island, which is considered a man versus nature conflict. Rainsford's internal conflict is within himself and does not involve General Zaroff. His internal conflict involves his struggle to maintain his composure and think clearly amidst the terrifying situation.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The conflict between Rainsford and Zaroff Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" is both internal and external. External conflict is the conflict between two or more people, a person against nature, and a person against the supernatural. Internal conflict is a conflict one faces within himself or herself. 

One conflict Rainsford faces regarding Zaroff is external. Since he is running from Zaroff, so that he does not kill him, Rainsford conflicts with Zaroff himself. At the same time, Rainsford conflicts with nature because of his fight against Zaroff.

Internally, Ransford faces a conflict within himself. He does not wish to die. He knows that he possesses the skill to defeat Zaroff, but, at times, Rainsford questions his own ability. This is illustrated by the following quote: "I will not lose my nerve. I will not." 

In the end, Rainsford is able to overcome both his internal and external conflicts. 

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