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The Most Dangerous Game has many ironies.
The most obvious irony is when Rainsford the hunter becomes the hunted. In the beginning of the story, it is clear that Rainsford is not just a hunter, but a very accomplished and skilled hunter. He has been around the world, and he loves the sport. Moreover, he has little regard for animals. His cavalier attitude comes out when he says that there are only two classes of beings - the hunter and the hunted. Little does he know that he will become the hunted. Here is what he says:
"Nonsense," laughed Rainsford. "This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters. Do you think we've passed that island yet?"
Later Rainsford will meet Zaroff. Zaroff is a mad man, and he, like Rainsford, loves hunting. However, Zaroff no longer likes to hunt animals. They are too easy for him. He wants a greater challenge. For Zaroff, that greater challenge is people. So, he begins to hunt Rainsford who is on his island. The irony here is that the hunted (Rainsford) at the end of the short story hunts Zaroff.
A man, who had been hiding in the curtains of the bed, was standing there. "Rainsford!" screamed the general. "How in God's name did you get here?" "Swam," said Rainsford. "I found it quicker than walking through the jungle."
The general sucked in his breath and smiled. "I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game."
Rainsford did not smile. "I am still a beast at bay," he said, in a low, hoarse voice. "Get ready, General Zaroff."
The general made one of his deepest bows. "I see," he said. "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford."
He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.
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