What type of characterization can you identify in The most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell ?

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jdslinky eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Characterization is evident in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell in the way all 3 main characters (Sanger Rainsford, General Zaroff and Ivan) are developed.

Sanger Rainsford is a man who cares a great deal about hunting. In fact, the way ends up in this predicament is en route to a hunt. He is also well known for the work he has produced in relation to his hunting, as evidenced in the fact that Zaroff knows who he is before he introduces himself.

While being hunted, Rainsford proves to be resilient and resourceful: he never gives up and keeps encouraging himself to continue on. He is capable of creating traps and detours, and in the end proves a worthy component of General Zaroff's. In fact, he is the only one who has been hunted to "win" the most dangerous game.

General Zaroff is characterized as a psychotic, wealthy man, with little less to do with his money than to hunt people for sport. He has built his island to include all of the finer things offered in regular society; in fact, he has many accouterments that regular people in society do not (i.e. tailored linens, exceptional food and drink, etc.)

It is clear to see that he does not think his plan to hunt humans the least bit wrong. He admonishes Rainsford's shock by accusing him of having a "Puritan" upbringing. He further tries to persuade Rainsford by inviting him to hunt-he shows off his lot of dogs and brags about his "training" methods for those who unwittingly have fallen prey to the "channel" he set up in the waters.

Ivanis a "deaf and dumb" ex-Cossack. During his heyday, he was employed as a professional knouter (which is someone who inflicts pain on others through whippings as a form of punishment). He is characterized in the story as being a formidable opponent, as is evidenced in the way he answers the door, (with a revolver pointing at Rainsford's chest) and forces those who have the option of dealing with him or being hunted to choose the latter. He is depicted as strong in the way he handles to dogs and is described by Rainsford as a giant.

 He is further characterized to be loyal because he does anything the general asks of him and even dies as a result of one of Rainsford's traps.


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The Most Dangerous Game

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