In "The Most Dangerous Game", who is more characterized, General Zaroff or Rainsford?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One could argue that Rainsford is more characterized throughout the short story "The Most Dangerous Game." Connell utilizes third person limited narration to characterize Rainsford by describing his inner feelings and emotions. Rainsford is also portrayed as a dynamic character as he goes from being a callous, unsympathetic hunter, to a person who fully understands what it is like to be hunted.

Rainsford's inner thoughts are described as Connell illustrates his panic after falling off the yacht and his sense of comfort when he initially sits down to dinner at Zaroff's chateau. Rainford's sense of anxiety and fear is also portrayed as he attempts to avoid Zaroff throughout Ship-Trap Island. Rainsford's sense of danger and primal instincts are also revealed when he surprises the general in his own room at the end of the novel.

The third person limited narration allows Connell to focus on Rainsford's personal thoughts and emotions while he objectively describes General Zaroff's behaviors and comments. Essentially, Rainsford is more characterized than General Zaroff because the reader never has perspective on the general's inner thoughts and emotions like they do for Rainsford.

lizbv eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The characterization we receive most is that of Rainsford.  This is for a few reasons:

1) We see him before, during, and after his run-in with Zaroff, whereas we only learn about Zaroff during his interactions with Rainsford.

2)  We are given a description of Zaroff from Rainsford's point of view, showing us not only how Zaroff looks and acts, but also Rainsford's interpretation of his look and mannerisms.

3) We are given a view into the mind of Rainsford, not Zaroff, several times: on the boat, when he arrives on the island, when he meets with Zaroff, and all throughout the hunt we learn how he is thinking his way through the jungle and away from Zaroff.

viny | Student

i would say general Zaroff because Rainsford describes him so well Rainsford was pretty discribed but not as much as zaroff

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The Most Dangerous Game

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