What obstacles does Rainsford use to stop Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game," and in what ways are they successful and unsuccesful?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Desperately trying to escape from Zaroff and his hounds, Rainsford decided to try a few of the tricks he had learned from his travels around the world. First, Rainsford

... executed a series of intricate loops; he doubled on his trail again and again, recalling all the lore of the fox hunt, the dodges of the fox.

He climbed a tree to rest, and when he awoke, he found that Zaroff had tracked him right to the tree. When he saw Zaroff smile, he knew that the Cossack was merely toying with him,

"... saving him for another day's sport. The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse."

Rainsford's first trap was a Malay mancatcher, in which one tree served as a trigger to cause a second tree to crash from above. But Zaroff sensed it, and he was only slightly injured. Next, Rainsford dug a Burmese tiger pit, with sharpened stakes at the bottom of a hidden pit. It only claimed one of Zaroff's dogs. Finally, he used

"... a native trick he had learned in Uganda..."

and attached his knife to a sapling, tying it down with grapevine. This trick worked, killing Ivan, but still Zaroff came on.

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The Most Dangerous Game

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