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I would consider this story as literary fiction. The characters are very well developed and Rainsford changes at the end. It has a valid theme. At the beginning , Rainsford has a ruthless attitude toward the animals he hunts. Look at his conversation with Whitne on the yacht reveals his feelings:
Whitney: Great sport, hunting.
Rainsford: The best sport in the world.
Whitney: For the hunter, not the jaguar.
Rainsford: Don't talk rot, Whitney. You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels.
Whitney: Perhaps the jaguar does.
Rainsford: Bah! They’ve no understanding.
Whitney: Even so—I rather think they understand one thing—fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death
Rainsford: Nonsense. This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees.
........After Rainsford falls overboard and swims to General Zaroff’s island, Zaroff shows a ruthless side as well, toward his favorite prey. But Zaroff's prey are humans. Shipwrecks are caused by Zaroff and provide him a supply of "game." Rainsford is shocked and is morally indignat at the general’s killing as sport. Zaroff says Rainsford will change his mind when he engages in a hunt. But what Rainsford does not realize is that he will be the prey.
........After Zaroff releases Rainsford into the jungle the next day, Rainsford becomes like the animals he hunts, mere game, and no doubt begins to appreciate what Whitney had told him aboard the ship about the inhumanity of hunting frightened animals.
........After Rainsford sets traps that kill one of Zaroff’s tracking dogs and Zaroff’s gigantic sidekick, Ivan, he escapes his pursuers by jumping into the ocean from a high cliff. That evening when Zaroff goes to bed, Rainsford comes from behind a curtain and confronts the general, saying, “I am still a beast at bay.” And the beast then kills the hunter and sleeps soundly in his bed.
........Rainsford has graduated to killing a human. The question is: Is Rainsford just like Zaroff?
In this story the main character is transformed, which is a component of literary fiction.
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