silhouette of a man with one eye open hiding in the jungle

The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

Start Free Trial

What is the lesson learned if the Universal Theme for "The Most Dangerous Game" is competition?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Zaroff also overestimated himself. His hunting experience led him to believe that he was more powerful than he really was. Although he knew that hunting a human would be more challenging, he thought more of his own ability than he should have.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Another lesson might be to never underestimate your opponent.  Zaroff greatly underestimated Rainsford.  He thought this would be the same fun and easy game he had played numerous times before.  Rainsford was intelligent and far more capable than Zaroff gave him credit for.  In the end, Rainsford was able to overtake Zaroff because of Zaroff's overconfidence and continual underestimating of Rainsford.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
If you are willing to engage in competition, be prepared to lose. General Zaroff does not expect Rainsford to just buckle under, but he does not expect him to change the rules of the game. He gives Rainsford the choice of being subjected to Ivan or participating in the game. Rainsford participates in and wins the game, but he chooses to kill Zaroff and take over his house.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial