What are the exposition, character, and setting of "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Connell's thriller about a hunter who quickly transforms into the prey of a "most dangerous game" opens with a discussion of what makes a hunter between Sanger Rainsford and his friend,  This story follows the plot outline of Freytag. That is, there is an exposition, which is a part of the rising action that has a complication, the point where the protagonist encounters some conflict. Then, this information rises to a crisis.


On board a smalll vessel that is headed down the Amazon River in search of jaguar, Rainsford and his friend Whitney discuss whether the jaguar understands fear, and Rainsford, laughs, calling this idea "Nonsense." This remark contains much dramatic irony, of course. Bidding Whitney good-night, Rainsford remains on board. But, when he hears a gun three times, Rainsford rushes to the railing of the ship. As he does so, he knocks his pipe against the ropes; he tries to catch it, but accidentally falls overboard into the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.

After swimming to the shore, Rainsford, exhausted, falls asleep. He is awakened by the sun and pistol shots. Seeing boot prints on the ground, Rainsford follows them until he arrives at a chateau, whose knocker he uses (rising action). A huge man with a menacing  look comes to the door.(complication) and behind him approaches a bizarre man with a cultivated voice. This is General Zaroff who invites Rainsford to dine with him.After dinner, Rainsford learns that he is to become the prey in the general's dastardly hunt. (conflict)

"I'll cheerfully acknowledge myself defeated if I do not find you by midnight of the following day.....My sloop will place you on the mainland near a wreck." Zaroff tells in "kindly tones" that are anything but "kind".


This hunt, the "most dangerous game" finds Rainsford as the prey--the "beast at bay." He must run through the tropical growth and swamp of Shipwreck Island on the Caribbean. The chateau of the general sits high on a cliff.

amysor | Student


The most dangeous game consists of two main characters, General Zaroff and Sanger Rainsford

Sanger RainsfordAn american who has experience in hunting and even wrote a book. He was aboard a boat, and it crashed, he was the sole survivor. Stranded in the Carribean, and is found by General Zaroff, and he takes him in the night. General Zaroff later informs him that they will hunt each other to the death. In the end, Rainsford and his knowledge of hunting persevere and he survives. 

General Zaroff- A man who lives on the island which Rainsford gets stranded on. He owns the islans and has a servant called Ivan and dogs. He is obssed with hunting, so much that animals aren't a challenge anymore, and has resorted to hunting humans. 

To find out more about the characters or the story, go to enotes.com study guide for the "Most Dangerous Game"