During Rainsford's first dinner with General Zaroff, the general elaborates on how he became bored with hunting and decided to buy Ship-Trap Island in order to capture men and hunt them with no repercussions. The general's maniacal plan astonishes and disgusts Rainsford, who labels General Zaroff as a murderer. General Zaroff proceeds to justify his actions by saying,
"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" (Connell, 8).
The general's comments are similar to Rainsford's earlier remarks to Whitney when they were on the deck of the yacht. Rainsford told Whitney,
"The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters" (Connell, 1).
General Zaroff's comments regarding the relationship between the strong and weak members of society emphasize his callous nature and provide further insight into his character. Zaroff has absolutely no sympathy for the weaker members of society and believes that it is his right to oppress and harm defenseless individuals for his personal pleasure.