In "The Most Dangerous Game," there is a limited number of characters who may have really developed an opinion of Sanger Rainsford. The first is Whitney, the shipmate with whom he first discusses certain aspects of hunting, such the feelings or lack of feelings of the prey. It seems, judging by the content and extent of the conversation between the two men, that Whitney considers Rainsford his equal but also feels that Rainsford does not understand certain matters, such as the truth behind superstition. While he respects Rainsford, Whitney does not relinquish his own position on the topics of Ship-Trap Island, the fear of the hunted, or the "sixth sense" that he believes some possess.
General Zaroff considers Rainsford as close a match to himself as possible in terms of hunting prowess, but still fails to recognize his equal value and rights as a human being. He is clearly appreciative of Rainsford's intelligence and skill, but eventually appears to form the opinion that Rainsford is less of a man than himself, due to the fact that Rainsford chooses to refuse to hunt his fellow man. To Zaroff, compassion seems to be a weakness.