The Most Dangerous Game Questions and Answers
by Richard Edward Connell

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Where does irony occur in "The Most Dangerous Game"? 

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Examples of Irony in "The Most Dangerous Game."

  • There is the conversation between Rainsford and Whitney in which Rainsford shows no sympathy for the feelings and "understanding" of the hunted animal. Rainsford's declaration that it is "Nonsense" that animals can experience "The fear of pain and the fear of death" will come back to haunt him.
  • It is ironic that the owner of the chateau on Ship-Trap Island is also a world-class big game hunter, and that he is familiar with Rainsford and has read his book.
  • It is ironic that Zaroff is an aristocrat with so many cultured aspects to his personality; yet, he practices the art of murder without regret.
  • It is ironic that Rainsford, the hunter, will become the human prey for Zaroff's special hunt.
  • It is ironic that Rainsford, who claims he is "a hunter, not a murderer," reverts to Zaroff's position as the hunter and eventually kills the Cossack.
  • It is ironic that by the end of the story, it is Zaroff who agrees to honor the rules he has proposed, congratulating Rainsford for having "won the game." He is prepared to see that Rainsford is safely returned to civilization, but it is Rainsford who refuses to comply, deciding instead that he is "still a beast at bay."
  • It is ironic that Rainsford, in the end, seems to take such pleasure in the final hunt, sleeping comfortably after having killed Zaroff.

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