What is the protagonist's attitude at the end of the story?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Just to demonstrate that literature can present itself for multiple interpretations, let me attack the ending with a slightly different perspective.  Rainsford does understand what it means to be hunted, but the idea of empathy might now be lost.  In the beginning, Rainsford exhibits disgust and horror when he realizes that Zaroff is hunting humans.  He refers to it as murder, and his attitude is clear that he finds this to be the worst sin.  However, at the end, Rainsford hides in Zaroff's room, much as a lion will hide in the tall grass, watching for his prey.  Rainsford kills Zaroff, which is murder, but he "never had a better meal" after the fact.  This suggest that Rainsford attitude is mroe accepting towards this "new hunt".

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Remember that at the beginning of the story Rainsford, the protagonist, felt that the hunted ("huntees") felt neither pain nor fear about being hunted. At the end of the story Rainsford has now had the unique experience of being hunted by General Zaroff and he felt both pain and fear during his experience. Rainsford ultimately wins the most dangerous game, but his attitude toward what he does for a profession will surely change as a result of this experience. I do not think that Rainsford, being the world famous hunter that he is, will quit what he is good at. I think his experience as the huntee will only hone his expertise and he will have empathy for the game that he hunts from now on. 

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szdouaihy | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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foxy438's profile pic

foxy438 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Remember that at the beginning of the story Rainsford, the protagonist, felt that the hunted ("huntees") felt neither pain nor fear about being hunted. At the end of the story Rainsford has now had the unique experience of being hunted by General Zaroff and he felt both pain and fear during his experience. Rainsford ultimately wins the most dangerous game, but his attitude toward what he does for a profession will surely change as a result of this experience. I do not think that Rainsford, being the world famous hunter that he is, will quit what he is good at. I think his experience as the huntee will only hone his expertise and he will have empathy for the game that he hunts from now on. 

  • Just to demonstrate that literature can present itself for multiple interpretations, let me attack the ending with a slightly different perspective.  Rainsford does understand what it means to be hunted, but the idea of empathy might now be lost.  In the beginning, Rainsford exhibits disgust and horror when he realizes that Zaroff is hunting humans.  He refers to it as murder, and his attitude is clear that he finds this to be the worst sin.  However, at the end, Rainsford hides in Zaroff's room, much as a lion will hide in the tall grass, watching for his prey.  Rainsford kills Zaroff, which is murder, but he "never had a better meal" after the fact.  This suggest that Rainsford attitude is mroe accepting towards this"new hunt"

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