What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?.. ..

9 Answers | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

When Rainsford first appears in the story I dislike his cold-blooded attitude about killing animals. I realize there are people like this, people who enjoy killing living things and considering it good fun. Ernest Hemingway enjoyed killing animals, birds, and fish and despised people who didn't. Theodore Roosevelt was another such "sportsman." To people like myself it doesn't seem sportsmanlike to kill an animal from a distance with a high-powered rifle. The contest is unequal. I only began to sympathize with Rainsford when he became the hunted animal himself, but I never really liked him. Characters in fiction always have problems because readers identify with them on the basis of their problems and not on the basis of their personalities. Another good example is the protagonist of Jack London's "To Build a Fire." There is nothing likable about this brutal man, but we identify with him because he has a problem of staying alive. Fiction is full of problems because that is the way to get reader involvement. The easiest way to analyze a story is to ask who wants what and why can't he or she get it. In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is just a lost child who only wants to get home.

 

 

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I admire Rainsford for maintaining his principles. He might have thought Zarroff was crazy and decided to play along and hunt the captives. Instead he protested. You could even argue that he was saving the lives of future captives by killing Zarroff. However I do think that Rainsford killed him in revenge for making him play the game.
auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I am not at all impressed with Rainsford in the first few pages of "The Most Dangerous Game." He is pompous and arrogant, clearly believing he is a superior sort of human being. However, he soon has to face his own mortality when General Zaroff hints him. I appreciate his resourcefulness and his bravery in the face of mortal danger.

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I am not at all impressed with Rainsford in the first few pages of "The Most Dangerous Game." He is pompous and arrogant, clearly believing he is a superior sort of human being. However, he soon has to face his own mortality when General Zaroff hints him. I appreciate his resourcefulness and his bravery in the face of mortal danger.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

"The Most Dangerous Game" is a Darwinian short story, with the survival of the fittest as a clear and strong motif.  As the survivor against the cruel and sadistic General Zaroff, Rainsford is extremely impressive.  In addition, he has learned to understand the beasts of prey as he himself has been made into one.  So, perhaps he will sympathize with the animals that he hunts.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Especially as a young person, I really admired Rainsford's bravery and toughness.  I was growing up in a society that very much valued a macho vision of what a man was and so I wanted to be like that.  I admired how he could hold himself together and be brave in the face of death.  At that point, I never disliked anything about him.

Nowadays, I have to admit I still don't dislike much of anything about him.  I can't get too worked up about him not caring about jaguars' feelings since I've hunted too.  I do question whether he might become the next Zaroff and start hunting people, but I'm not sure enough of that to dislike him.

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This might be moved to the Discussion Board, as many editors will have answers for you based on a variety of Rainsford's character traits.

I admire Rainsford's resourcefulness. He seems able to use just a few features of the forest to be able to create traps for Zaroff or his dogs three times. He also used his knowledge of hunting to create a difficult trail to follow.

On the other hand, every time I read this story I get mad at him in the first few paragraphs. He is so cocky, so overconfident. He and Whitney's discussion of the jaguar prove this. He doesn't care for the feelings of the jaguar and this ends up being the irony of the story as he feels what it is like to be hunted.

wendell14's profile pic

wendell14 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

i admire Rainsford's resourcefulness and bravery because he seems able to use just a few features of the forest to create a trap for Zaroff and his crew. Rainsford traps Lazarus. Zaroff's dog.

 

 

i hope it helps!

phildigs's profile pic

phildigs | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Obviously, Rainsford is a survivor. This is what I I see as one of his strongest characteristics. I always tend to present this question regarding Rainsford- is he a positive or negative character at the end of the story? We know he learns a lesson, but does he learn it for the good of society or does he relish a new role?

We’ve answered 318,996 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question