What traits do Rainsford and General Zaroff have in common? And what differences do they have in The Most Dangerous Game?  

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Both Rainsford and General Zaroff are experienced hunters who have an affinity for adventure and hunting dangerous prey. Both characters enjoy literature, which is evident from the general's massive book collection and from the fact that Rainsford has several published works on hunting. Rainsford and General Zaroff are also both extremely competitive individuals, who struggle against each other in the hunt that ensues in the story.

Despite their many similarities, Rainsford is a sane, civilized man, while General Zaroff is a fanatical, insensitive murderer. Zaroff completely dismisses the worth of a human life and does not abide by society's laws and regulations on Ship-Trap Island, where he creates a terrifying environment for those shipwrecked on it. While Rainsford is an avid hunter and thoroughly enjoys the sport, the general's affinity for hunting is fanatical. When Zaroff started to become bored with his favorite sport, he simply decided to hunt humans, which emphasizes his insanity and suggests that he may be a sociopath.

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One trait Rainsford and General Zaroff have in common in the short story is their passion for hunting and their extensive knowledge in hunting. They both have traveled around the world hunting the most desired and exotic game and both have been doing it for a long time. Rainsford even wrote a book on hunting. Another trait they possessed in common, in the beginning of the short story, was their callousness toward hunting. They both regarded prey animals as having no feelings or emotions when it came to the hunt. They felt nothing for the animals they hunted.

An obvious difference the two characters possess is their level of sanity. They differ in the lengths at which they will go to achieve the thrill of the hunt. Rainsford is content to hunt animals, while General Zaroff has grown bored with it. He has rationalized in his mind that it is okay to hunt humans. He has no boundaries when it comes to hunting, whereas Rainsford still does.

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