silhouette of a man with one eye open hiding in the jungle

The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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What are 5 personality characteristics of General Zaroff from "The Most Dangerous Game"?

General Zaroff is a sophisticated man who values the finer things in life. He is also an opinionated, merciless hunter who seeks to battle with his prey.

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General Zaroff is a sophisticated man who is well-read and values the finer things in life. During his dinner with Rainsford, Zaroff elaborates on the various books he's read about hunting. He says,

"You see, I read all books on hunting published in English, French, and Russian. I have but one passion in my life, Mr. Rainsford, and it is the hunt" (Connell, 5).

General Zaroff is a talented, accomplished hunter who has become bored because he no longer considers hunting a thrilling sport. He tells Rainsford,

"Simply this: hunting had ceased to be what you call 'a sporting proposition.' It had become too easy. I always got my quarry. Always. There is no greater bore than perfection" (Connell, 7).

Zaroff is also a fanatical hunter who has taken his love for the sport to the ultimate extreme. His decision to hunt humans is a result of his fanatical personality, which is expressed in his love for murdering people when he tells Rainsford,

"It [hunting humans] supplies me with the most exciting hunting in the world. No other hunting compares with it for an instant. Every day I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have a quarry with which I can match my wits" (Connell, 7).

General Zaroff is also an opinionated individual who does not respect Rainsford's perspective regarding the value of human life. While arguing with Rainsford about the ethics of his "game," General Zaroff says,

"Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure. I am strong" (Connell, 8).

General Zaroff is also a merciless individual who does not exercise empathy for the people stranded on his island. When Rainsford argues about Zaroff's lack of humanity, Zaroff responds by saying,

"I refuse to believe that so modern and civilized a young man as you seem to be harbors romantic ideas about the value of human life" (Connell, 8).

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Zaroff can be described as

1. Wealthy- Rainsford's experience of receiving clothes and just looking around the room Zaroff offered him demonstrates the sheer wealth of Zaroff:

It was to a huge, beam-ceilinged bedroom with a canopied bed big enough for six men that Rainsford followed the silent giant. Ivan laid out an evening suit, and Rainsford, as he put it on, noticed that it came from a London tailor who ordinarily cut and sewed for none below the rank of duke.

2. Hospitable - Rainsford noticed that Zaroff offered him the finest foods, drinks, clothes, and had a great home in which he had invited Rainsford to stay:

He was finding the general a most thoughtful and affable host, a true cosmopolite.

3. Suspicious - Zaroff made Rainsford nervous.

But there was one small trait of the general's that made Rainsford uncomfortable. Whenever he looked up from his plate he found the general studying him, appraising him narrowly.

4. Intelligent - Zaroff admits to having read Rainsford's book, and demonstrates great craft in creating the game that he made for this island. He also says directly of himself that he has an "analytical mind":

Now, mine is an analytical mind, Mr. Rainsford. Doubtless that is why I enjoy the problems of the chase.

5. Thrill-seeking- Zaroff bored easily. He had a desire for the rush of adrenaline that can only come from the thrill of the hunt:

Hunting tigers ceased to interest me some years ago. I exhausted their possibilities, you see. No thrill left in tigers, no real danger. I live for danger, Mr. Rainsford.

Many of these quotes are captured from the same two pages in which Zaroff and Rainsford sit down to dinner for the first time.

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