A Cossack and former general in the Russian Czar's cavalry, Zaroff leads a life of luxury and debauchery at his island mansion in Richard Connell's short story, "The Most Dangerous Game." Despite his intentional seclusion, Zaroff is surrounded by only the finest accoutrements. From the exotic heads that line his walls to the fine clothes on his back, Zaroff lives a life fit for a king. And symbolically, he is the unequivocal ruler of his little paradise.
Zaroff's clothes are custom made.
Ivan laid out an evening suit, and Rainsford, as he put it on, noticed that it came from a London tailor who ordinarily cut and sewed for none below the rank of duke.
Even his guest's clothes were "pajamas of the softest silk."
Zaroff's food is spectacular, considering the isolated surroundings.
Half apologetically General Zaroff said, "We do our best to preserve the amenities of civilization here. Please forgive any lapses. We are well off the beaten track, you know. Do you think the champagne has suffered from its long ocean trip?"
"Not in the least," declared Rainsford.
They further dined on borscht and "a particularly well-cooked filet mignon," followed by port and wine. At lunch the next day, Rainsford enjoyed crepes Suzette and Chablis. He shares his host's imported, perfumed cigarettes housed in a gold case.
The furniture and decorations of the palatial estate astound Rainsford.
The dining room to which Ivan conducted him was in many ways remarkable. There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal times with its oaken panels, its high ceiling, its vast refectory tables where twoscore men could sit down to eat. About the hall were mounted heads of many animals--lions, tigers, elephants, moose, bears; larger or more perfect specimens Rainsford had never seen.
As for Zaroff's lifestyle, he lives for the hunt. His island is stocked with wild beasts, and the hazardous waters surrounding it keep him provided with human refugees to serve as a more dangerous game. He rules absolutely, with Ivan as his sole friend and aide, until he meets a man equal to his own stalking skills.