In "The Most Dangerous Game," what types of bias are there in the narrative? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Richard Connell's suspenseful story of the age-old conflict of Man vs. Man, there exist certain biases; namely, the bias of the predator for the prey, social class bias, and a bias against Puritan and Victorian morals.

  • The bias of the predator for the prey

Both Granger Rainsford and General Zaroff are predatory men who have no sympathies for what they hunt.  On the ship as they travel to the Amazon, Rainsford's friend Whitney considers the fear of pain and death that the jaguar they soon will hunt must fear when so hunted. "Nonsense," Rainsford scoffs, having already asked, "Who cares how a jaguar feels?" Further, he tells Whitney,

The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees.  Luckily, you and I are hunters.

Ironically, Rainsford comes to learn what it is to be the "huntee"; nevertheless, when he is given the opportunity to again be the hunter at the end of the narrative, he takes it.

Like Rainsford, Zaroff has no feelings for prey, even human prey.  They are all simply "game." He informs Rainsford

"My hand was made for the real interest was always the hunt."

  • Social class bias

After Rainsford arrives at the castle of General Zaroff, Rainsford asks about the giant who has brought him there. In response, Zaroff, who is of the Russian nobility, replies that Ivan, who is a Cossack, a lower class, is deaf and dumb. He further describes Ivan as

A simple fellow, but, I'm afraid, like all his race, a bit of a savage.

  • A bias against Puritanical and Victorian morals

After General Zaroff tells Rainsford that he hunts "a new animal" that reasons, Rainsford is appalled to think that Zaroff implies hunting human beings. The general laughs, cynically observing,

"One does not expect nowadays to find a young man of the educated class...even in America, with such a naive...mid-Victorian point of view....Ah, well, doubless you had Puritan ancestors...."

In "The Most Dangerous Game," then, there exist three types of bias:  the strong against the weak, the socially superior against the inferior, and the amoral against the moral. 


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The Most Dangerous Game

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