In "The Most Dangerous Game," what is General Zaroff's main reason for preferring to hunt humans rather than animals?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

General Zaroff is the main antagonist in Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game." He is a proficient hunter who has hunted all of the biggest types of game around the world. He arrogantly tells his guest, Rainsford, all about the different game he has hunted and slowly comes to the point that he now hunts man. He tells Rainsford that he had come to the point in his life that he felt bored with every other type of animal because "they were no match at all for a hunter with his wits about him and a high-powered rifle." Basically, there was no more intrigue or excitement in hunting for Zaroff, so he decided to hunt man. He concluded that if he started to hunt men, then maybe the hunt would be more clever and intriguing. The hope was that if a man were being hunted, then that man would come up with intellectual ways to survive. If that happened, then Zaroff would have more of a mental puzzle to put together during the hunt. For Zaroff, he had learned how to track mindless animals; now he wanted to track an animal who could rationalize its situation and provide a better "game" for Zaroff to play.

amysor | Student

General Zaroff's main reason for wanting to hunt humans instead of animals, because humans think like him. Humans are more clever, instead of animals, who only follow their survival instinct slowly.

"No animal had a chance with me any more. That is no boast; it is a mathematical certainty. The animal had
nothing but his legs and his instinct. Instinct is no match for reason. When I thought of this it was a tragic
moment for me, I can tell you."

By stating that "instinct is no match for reason," Zaroff is placing mankind above that of the animal. Since instinct is ingrained and reason is taught, mankind proves itself far more superior than the animal.

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The Most Dangerous Game

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