What was ironic about Zaroff's china?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Rainsford initially sits down to dinner with General Zaroff, he notices that the general enjoys the finer things in life, which include linen, silverware, crystal, and china. The fine china and other amenities that the general enjoys symbolize civility and reveal that the general is somewhat cosmopolitan. Ironically, the china is not representative of General Zaroff's true nature and personality. During their dinner, the general explains to Rainsford his fascination with hunting and reveals his maniacal personality by admitting to hunting humans, in what he refers to as the most dangerous game. Despite the modern amenities and comfortable setting, the general is a savage, callous murderer, who has no regard for human life. Therefore, it is ironic that such a brutal, uncivilized man would possess such elegant, expensive china, which is typically reserved for civilized aristocrats and wealthy citizens.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial