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“The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story by Richard Connell that is often taught in the early high school years. It is usually taught as lesson in plotting, as Connell uses foreshadowing and suspense to create an interesting, action-oriented tale. For these reasons, students tend to like this story better than many of the stories they are assigned.
Rainsford is a character who happens upon an island inhabited by the Russian General Zaroff. Unbeknownst to Rainsford at the time, Zaroff is an avid hunter of a very specific type of game: man. When Rainsford finds himself being hunted like a wild animal, he must use all of his wits to try to outsmart Zaroff, who is an expert hunter. Zaroff tells Rainsford that if he can elude him for three days, he will be set free (a dubious promise if there ever was one!).
So Rainsford takes off through the jungle, trying to set a complicated and untraceable trail. When the first night falls, he climbs up into a tree to rest and pass the night, confident that Zaroff will not be able to find him there. Zaroff, however, is able to track him to the tree, but does not see him hiding in it. Thus Rainsford manages to survive for the first day.
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