What is the exterior and interior motivation in the short story "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I assume you are seeking the internal and external motivational factors in the story.

At first, Zaroff, the ruler of Ship-Trap Island, appears to be a congenial host to his surprise visitor, Rainsford, who has accidentally fallen off his yacht and made his way to shore. Zaroff provides him with dry clothing, cocktails, fine dining and good conversation. But we soon find that he has other plans for his guest.

Meanwhile, Rainsford is mystified at the superb amenities to be found in such an out-of-the-way location. Although he is curious, he seems content to have arrived at such a civilized place. He, too, will find that this is far from the truth.

Zaroff's internal motivation is to hunt the greatest of all big game: The human prey. The fact that he recognizes Rainsford's name as a famous hunter himself makes his guest all the more appealing for his unusual sport; his past human kills have not provided him with enough satisfaction, and he knows Rainsford will be different.

At first Rainsford's motivation is to stay alive and escape Ship-Trap Island, but his motives change to revenge after he survives the hunt. He, too, will find a taste for human prey as he turns the tables on Zaroff.

Read the study guide:
The Most Dangerous Game

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question