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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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Discussion Topic

Rainsford's internal and external conflicts in "The Most Dangerous Game."

Summary:

In "The Most Dangerous Game," Rainsford faces internal conflict as he struggles with fear and his own beliefs about hunting. Externally, he is in a life-or-death struggle against General Zaroff, who hunts him through the island's jungle, forcing Rainsford to use all his skills to survive.

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What sort of conflict might Rainsford face next if the plot of "The Most Dangerous Game" continues?

The next conflict Rainsford faces next would be Rainsford vs. the Sea.  He has to get off of Zaroff's island and back to civilization.  His previous times in the sea, he had relatively short distances to go, and knew what direction to go.  Now he has much farther to go, and doesn't know which direction to go, nor what dangers might lurk beneath the surface. 

It would be author's license as to whether Zaroff has a boat at his Chateau.  How Rainsford will provision for a long voyage in a small craft, and how far he goes before being found, are also up to you.

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What is Rainsford's internal conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Rainsford is being hunted by a madman who has everything in his favor. Zaroff, the Cossack general, is an expert hunter. He has a powerful rifle and a pack of dogs. All the odds are against Rainsford. His inner conflict involves not losing his nerve, not becoming panicked. If he becomes panicked he won't be able to think straight, and his only hope of survival is being able to use his wits to elude and trick his pursuer. 

Rainsford did not want to believe what his reason told him was true, but the truth was as evident as the sun that had by now pushed through the morning mists. The general was playing with him! The general was saving him for another day's sport! The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse. Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror.

"I will not lose my nerve. I will not."

Rainsford is terrified, but experience has taught him that it is possible to act rationally and effectively even when experiencing great fear. Ernest Hemingway called this "grace under pressure." Soldiers in combat have to learn to perform as they have been trained to do even though they are experiencing the completely normal emotion of fear.

"Nerve, nerve, nerve!" he panted, as he dashed along.

The author, Richard Connell, emphasizes that Rainsford does not win the one-sided contest with Zaroff because he is fearless but because he able to keep control of himself in spite of his fear. Rainsford likes hunting big game himself because the animals are dangerous. No doubt he has been in perilous situations many times before. This is a great asset. He has learned self-control.

"The Most Dangerous Game" is somewhat reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway's story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." In that story the main character loses his nerve when he is confronted by a charging male lion. If Robert Wilson, the guide, hadn't stood his ground and killed the lion, Macomber would have been killed. Later when they are hunting buffalo Macomber learns to control himself in spite of fear, and it is an exhilarating, life-changing experience with which the reader can identify because of Hemingway's magical writing ability.

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What is Rainsford's internal conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

In the short story "The Most Dangerous Game," the character Rainsford struggles with several internal conflicts. As a hunter, Rainsford clearly doesn't see killing animals as murder. He meets General Zaroff and the two discuss the matterin depth. When he learns of Zaroff's plan to hunt him, he is forced to question that belief. He must also struggle with his desire to survive and his feelings about killing another human being. Zaroff will kill Rainsford unless Rainsford can kill him first. In the beginning, Rainsford tries to hide from Zaroff and his servant Ivan. Eventually, Rainsford kills Ivan, but Zaroff will not stop hunting him. Rainsford must decide if he will kill Zaroff to save himself.
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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what is the internal conflict of Rainsford/Zaroff and how does it affect them?

Let's take a moment to review what an internal conflict is...  

A conflict is the struggle between two opposing forces.  Stories have external conflicts, like character vs. character / character vs. nature / character vs. society / or character vs. himself (outward things he or she does that hurt him/herself).

However, you are asking about internal conflicts, so let's move on to those.

Internal conflicts occur when a character has a decision to make.  The struggle he/she encounters while deciding what to do is an internal conflict.

I like to tell my students that an internal conflict takes place within a character's heart or head. 

Therefore, when considering "The Most Dangerous Game," the most significant internal conflicts occur 

  • when Zaroff decides whether or not to include Rainsford as a peer and fellow hunter of humans or hunt him like he has hunted the other shipwrecked men who have washed up on his island
  • when Rainsford has to decide whether or not to join Zaroff in his hunt(s) as a means to save his own life

We can look into each of these further to prove the depth of their internal conflict.

When considering the first example, the reader knows that Rainsford's presence at Zaroff's table presents to the general a very unique and thrilling circumstance.  Zaroff respects Rainsford's famous hunting skills and has read his books. In his mind, he is likely thinking that Rainsford will understand his new hunting technique if anyone will. His internal conflict is evident when the narrator says, 

"But there was one small trait of the general's that made Rainsford uncomfortable.  Whenever he looked up from his plate he found the general studying him, appraising him narrowly."

Why would he be doing this?  Because he is trying to decide whether Rainsford is the kind of hunter who could appreciate the new form of hunting that he has "invented."  If he is, then Zaroff has found an admirable companion for his new sport; if he is not, then Zaroff will have to treat this fellow hunter with the same disdain that he does all the other men who find themselves shipwrecked upon his island.  It is that contemplation--that decision--that is his internal conflict.

When considering the second example, Raisnford converses with Zaroff about his sport for quite a while, mostly because he cannot believe that he has run into such a man. He calls Zaroff's implication that he hunts humans a "grisly joke."  Further, he says he "will not condone cold-blooded murder." In spite of this protest, and probably because it had little effect on Zaroff, Rainsford has trouble sleeping over night.  This evidence suggests that Rainsford has to decide how he will go about saving his own life: should he join Zaroff, though it literally repulses him, as a means to spare himself?  How will he get himself out of this predicament? This struggle is his internal conflict.

The beauty of internal conflicts is in their link to the human condition--we all have moments when we struggle with what to do and/or how to do it. Sometimes it's our heads that cause our angst, and sometimes it's our hearts.  

For more insight into Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," see the link below.  

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what is the internal conflict of Rainsford/Zaroff and how does it affect them?

Internal conflict happens inside the character: Man vs. Self. An example of internal conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game" is when Rainsford is hiding from Zaroff in the trees and almost loses his nerve. He has to remind himself to keep his cool: "I will not lose my nerve. I will not."

Another example of internal conflict in “The Most Dangerous Game” is Zaroff’s boredom. “There is no greater bore than perfection,” he says. Boredom is a conflict Zaroff tries to overcome through his twisted game. Ultimately, it leads to his demise.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what internal conflict plagues Zaroff and why do you believe this to be true?

Richard Connell writes in his "The Most Dangerous Game" that for General Zaroff

...hunting had ceased to be what you call 'a sporting proposition.'  It had become too easy.  I always got my quarry.  Always.  There is no greater bore than perfection.

This quest for some other hunt to relieve his boredom seems the only internal conflict for Zaroff.  For, Rainsford's first impression was...that there was an "original, almost bizarre quality about the general's face." So, it seems that Zaroff possesses a sang froid [cold-bloodness] and a single-mindedness that made the external conflicts of the hunt more his concern.  As he tells Rainsford,

[God] He made a hunter....My whole life has been one prolonged hunt....I live for danger, Mr. Rainsford.

During his hunt for Rainsford, Zaroff seems composed and confident, playing a game of cat-and-mouse with Rainsford as he expresses regret that Rainsford cannot join him in the next hunt.  When he does trail Rainsford, the general appears only at lunchtime.  He is "solicitous about the state of Rainsford's health,' and he mentions that he does not feel so well:

I am worried, Mr. Rainsford.  Last night I detected traces of my old complaint....Ennui. Boredom.

This, again, is the same internal conflict.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what's Rainsford's first conflict?

When referring to "conflict" in a story, one must consider where the struggle is. A conflict can be man vs. man, man vs. self, or man vs. nature, for example. Therefore, Rainsford's first struggle is man vs. man because he must choose whether to be hunted by General Zaroff or be turned over to Ivan the Cossack for torture. Being hunted by General Zaroff seems to have more of a sporting chance to live rather than submitting to torture, so Rainsford chooses to be hunted in the jungle of Zaroff's island.

However, the first day of the hunt can be considered a conflict as well. This conflict is man vs. man because it is General Zaroff's hunting skills and pistol against Rainsford's knife in the jungle. First Rainsford creates many different paths which make it difficult for Zaroff to track him. Then, he constructs a Malay man-catcher which wounds Zaroff on his shoulder. The next day Zaroff brings a dog to help him, who dies in a Burmese pit that Rainsford constructs. This conflict is man vs. man and animal. On the third day, Rainsford must face the whole pack of Zaroff's dogs; so that is man vs. man and animals again. Overall, the conflict is man vs. man because both men use their skills and wits against each other.

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What happened when Rainsford had to confront his fear in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

This is a question concerning the main plot of the story. The concept of survival is at the center of this tale. Rainsford is put in a position where he has no choice but to relay on his skills as an expert hunter to stay alive and survive Zaroff's "game". However, as the story moves on, Rainsford becomes more and more desperate until the end, where he has used up his last trick and is without any protection with the General on his trail. He eludes Zaroff by flinging himself off the cliff and into the Sea. However, he does not stop. He then hunts Zaroff stating that he is "still a beast at bay". Even after Zaroff congratulates him for "winning the game" Rainsford wants revenge and kills him, thus becoming the hunter.

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What are some examples of Rainsford's internal conflicts in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

There are two conflicts that Rainsford has with himself throughout the story.  The first one is that he finds it abhorrent to hunt human beings.  He knows it is wrong,uncivilized, and cold-blooded murder.  However,against his will,  he is forced to take part in the game.  In being hunted by another human being and in the mode of survival, he takes another human's life (Ivan).  He climbed up the tree "excitedly" to see who had gotten killed.  He really wanted it to be Zaroff and was disappointed.

Another example of this conflict comes at the end of the story.  He, again, knows that it is wrong to kill another human being, but he knows that Zaroff will not allow him to leave the island.  He has told Zaroff that he intends to let people know what is happening on the island.  Zaroff says "in that case" and never finishes his sentence.  When Rainsford wins the game, Zaroff congratulates him.  But Rainsford says "I am still a beast at bay."  This comment shows that he knows he has to fight to the death, and he challenges Zaroff and wins.

 The third conflict is coping with the feeling of terror.  It says that 

 "The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse.  It was then that he knew the full meaning of terror."  (pg 10) 

He has to survive and he has to push himself physically and mentally.  He keeps telling himself not to lose his nerve and to think rationally.  He hears the hounds coming after him and it says,

At daybreak, Rainsford, lying near the swamp, was awakened by a sound that made him know tha he had new things to learn about fear. ...It was the baying of the hounds."
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What causes Rainsford's transformation in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Sanger Rainsford's terrifying experience being hunted throughout Ship-Trap Island by the deranged General Zaroff completely transforms him into a more sympathetic individual with a different outlook on life. Before Rainsford swims to Ship-Trap Island and is forced to survive in the wilderness for three days while being hunted by Zaroff, he has a narrow, unsympathetic outlook on life and hunting. As a world-renowned big-game hunter, Rainsford lacks compassion for the animals he hunts and believes that he has the right to kill them because he is a superior being. Rainsford expresses his narrow view by saying, "The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees." As the story progresses, Rainsford eventually becomes the prey in the most dangerous game and experiences firsthand the terror and pain of being hunted. Rainsford transforms into a "beast at bay" and changes his perspective of hunting altogether. Rainsford's outlook on life transforms when he becomes the vulnerable prey and gains empathy for the animals he used to hunt.

Rainsford's morals regarding the value of human life and whether or not murder is justified also change in the story. When Rainsford first discovers that Zaroff hunts humans, he is repulsed and disgusted by the general's savage confession. However, Rainsford experiences a moral dilemma when he recognizes that he must kill Zaroff in order to survive. By killing Zaroff, Rainsford is going against his morals and behaving the same as the evil general. Eventually, Rainsford realizes that Zaroff will stop at nothing to kill him and changes his perspective regarding the issue of taking a human life. At the end of the story, Rainsford ends up killing Zaroff in self-defense, which illustrates his belief that there are times when taking a human life is justified and necessary.

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What causes Rainsford's transformation in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Sanger Rainsford experiences a significant transformation and gains perspective after being hunted by the maniacal General Zaroff throughout Ship-Trap Island for three consecutive days. At the beginning of the story, Rainsford expresses his belief that the world is made up of two classes: "the hunters and the huntees." He believes that it is his inalienable right to exercise his strength and dominance over weaker beings. Rainsford also lacks sympathy for the animals he hunts and tells Whitney that the prey has no understanding of what is going on while they are being hunted.

Unfortunately, Rainsford falls off the yacht and must swim to General Zaroff's nearby island. During his first meal with the general, Rainsford is appalled to learn that Zaroff hunts humans throughout the island for sport. Rainsford ends up becoming Zaroff's prey and is forced to avoid the general and survive on the treacherous island for three consecutive days. As Rainsford is being hunted, he gains perspective and sympathy for the animals he hunts. He experiences the feelings of terror, fear, and anxiety as Zaroff closes in on him with his group of hunting dogs. By the end of the story, Rainsford illustrates his dramatic transformation by telling the general, "I am still a beast at bay...Get ready, General Zaroff." Rainsford's harrowing experience has made him more sympathetic to the animals he hunts and has expanded his perspective on the sport of hunting. Without becoming Zaroff's prey and narrowly surviving his game, Rainsford would have probably remained a callous, insensitive big-game hunter.

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What causes Rainsford's transformation in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

The cause of Rainsford's change is that he goes from being the hunter to being the hunted.

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford shows zero care for the animals that he hunts. He feels that the animals are prey and nothing more; they are not thinking and emotional creatures. They operate on nothing more than instinct; therefore, they do not feel fear.  

"You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?"

"Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney.

"Bah! They've no understanding."

"Even so, I rather think they understand one thing—fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death."

"Nonsense," laughed Rainsford.

All that changes after being shipwrecked on General Zaroff's island. Zaroff hunts humans, and he makes Rainsford his prey. Rainsford is appalled at the scenario; however, he has little choice but to run and fight for his survival. Once the hunting begins, Rainsford gets to see, feel, and understand the other side of the hunt. He gains a new respect for the animals that he hunts because he now understands what it feels like to be pursued by a relentless killer that has zero care for how his prey feels. Because he is being hunted by Zaroff, Rainsford now fully understands and empathizes with the animals that he once hunted. That is why the following quote from Rainsford is so important.

"I am still a beast at bay," he said, in a low, hoarse voice.

He does not say that he's a man seeking vengeance or even self-defense. Rainsford labels himself "a beast." He sees himself as an animal, and he is no longer thinking like a human. He's been cornered into a situation in which he absolutely must kill or be killed. That's what happens when an animal is cornered; it will fight harder than it ever has before with no concern for the other aggressor. That is now Rainsford. Gone is the opinion that killing another human being is morally suspect. That change in Rainsford would not have happened without his island experience.

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How do the external conflicts in "The Most Dangerous Game" create an internal conflict for Sanger Rainsford?

The external conflicts in "The Most Dangerous Game" include Rainsford enduring the dangerous, unfamiliar environment of the Caribbean Sea and Ship-Trap Island as well as his horrifying experience being hunted by General Zaroff. Rainsford's external conflicts create internal conflicts within his character as he struggles to overcome various obstacles while avoiding the evil general. Once Rainsford discovers that Zaroff hunts humans throughout his island for sport and plans on hunting him in the most dangerous game, Rainsford panics and sprints into the forest without a plan. After creating distance from the general, Rainsford struggles to compose himself and repeats, "I must keep my nerve. I must keep my nerve." Eventually, Rainsford settles down and begins thinking clearly. Rainsford is able to control his emotions and begins using his hunting expertise to avoid Zaroff.

The next morning, Rainsford recognizes that Zaroff is playing games with him and saving him for another day of hunting, which is a startling, horrifying discovery. Rainsford once again experiences an internal conflict and tells himself, "I will not lose my nerve. I will not." Being hunted throughout the treacherous island causes Rainsford stress, anxiety, and fear, which he must overcome in order to survive. Rainsford's internal conflict concerns his struggle to compose his nerves and think clearly during the extremely dangerous, tense situation. Fortunately, Rainsford is able to overcome his fear and manages to outwit the general in the most dangerous game.

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How do the external conflicts in "The Most Dangerous Game" create an internal conflict for Sanger Rainsford?

The primary external conflict in Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" concerns General Zaroff hunting Sanger Rainsford. This is an example of a man vs. man conflict, and Rainsford is forced to rely on his skills and expertise as a hunter to survive. Several internal conflicts directly stem from Rainsford being hunted throughout Ship-Trap Island. The first internal conflict concerns Rainsford's outlook on life. Before Rainsford lands on Ship-Trap Island, he holds a rather callous view of hunting and has absolutely no sympathy for the animals he kills. On the yacht, Rainsford tells Whitney, "The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees." After running through the wilderness in an attempt to avoid the maniacal General Zaroff, Rainsford experiences an internal conflict regarding his outlook on life and hunting. Rainsford experiences firsthand the terror animals feel when they are hunted, and Connell writes, "Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay feels." The external conflict of being hunted by Zaroff influences Rainsford to challenge his previous belief that animals do not feel terror or pain during a hunt. This newfound perspective causes Rainsford to experience a moral dilemma. He is a world-renowned hunter who now recognizes that he is causing animals significant terror and pain.

Another internal conflict Rainsford experiences concerns his decision to kill General Zaroff. Initially, Rainsford is against killing human beings and finds Zaroff's deranged game to be repulsive, criminal, and uncivilized. However, Rainsford's frightening experience of being hunted in the wilderness challenges his beliefs and morals. Rainsford recognizes that the general will stop at nothing to murder him but understands that he must kill Zaroff in order to survive. At the end of the story, Rainsford still feels like "a beast at bay" and kills Zaroff in self-defense. Rainsford's difficult decision to kill Zaroff is a direct outcome of being hunted by the general.

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How do the external conflicts in "The Most Dangerous Game" create an internal conflict for Sanger Rainsford?

We learn at the beginning opf "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell that Sanger Rainsford does not believe that animals feel anything when they are hunted because they have no "understanding." Rainsford is on a yacht on his way to hunt jaguar in the Amazon when he has a discussion about this with the ship's captain, Whitney. Whitney is certain the animals understand the fear of pain and death, at least, as they are being hunted. Rainsford quickly dismisses Whitney's view, calling him a philosopher for thinking this way.

"Nonsense," laughed Rainsford. "This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters."

Obviously the primary external conflict in this story is between Rainsford and General Zaroff, who has decided to make Rainsford his prey in a challenging hunt. Literally, Rainsford must fight to save his life, and that is certainly an external conflict for him. The inner conflicts caused by Zaroff hunting him are several. First, Zaroff graciously gives Rainsford the choice between being hunted and being tortured by the formidable Cossack, Ivan. Though it does not seem like much of a choice, it is still a choice--and that is exactly what an internal conflict is, having to make a choice.

A second choice/conflict is more implied that explicit: will Rainsford do whatever he has to in order to survive this ordeal of being hunted? While he is certainly going to do whatever he can to save his own life, he must decide if he is willing to kill Zaroff if it means saving his own life. Again, this may not sound like much of a choice, but it is a weighty thing to kill another human being--unless you are the same kind of person as General Zaroff and Ivan, of course. And that is the crux of Rainsford's choice: will he be like them or will he choose something different. 

We know what Rainsford chose, but we can assume that he spent his three days of being hunted wondering both how he was going to save himself (another kind of internal conflict) and what he would do if he had to kill Zaroff to stay allive. He was the hunted and he did feel the fear of pain and the fear of death, though he once scoffed at Whitney for believing this. Having to change your mind about something, especially something you were so certain about, is yet another kind of internal conflict. 

All of Rainsford's internal conflicts are caused by the one external conflict: being hunted by the madman, General Zaroff.

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Please explain how the external conflicts in “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell create an internal conflict within Sanger Rainsford.

The primary external conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell is the fact that Sanger Rainsford is forced to become the hunted; it is also this conflict which causes him to have at least some internal conflict. 

Before he falls off the yacht and lands on Zaroff's island, Sanger Rainsford is pretty adamant about what he believes to be true. He tells Whitney, the ship's captain, to

"Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters."

He goes on to add that animals lack understanding and therefore do not know anything other than being hunted as prey. Once he lands on the island and meets General Zaroff, however, Rainsford is forced to rethink this assertion.

Zaroff appears to be a civilized man in every way, and he is also a big-game hunter; at first, then, Rainsford thinks all is well. What he soon discovers, however, is that Zaroff has grown bored with hunting animals who have instincts but who cannot reason. Of course we learn that Zaroff has begun hunting humans, but even hunting the shipwrecked sailors is beginning to bore him because they are gripped with fear and usually rely on simple survival instincts rather than trying to outwit Zaroff.

When it finally becomes clear to Rainsford that Zaroff intends to hunt him or allow Ivan to torture him, Rainsford has his first internal conflict. He says:

"Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder."

Though neither option is satisfactory to him, he must choose one. He chooses to hunt. That choice leads to many small internal conflicts, as he faces and overcomes his fears and is forced to fight to save his life. It is safe to say that humans are conflicted about being treated as prey; in the end, however, Rainsford gets the opportunity to turn the tables and become the hunter instead of the huntee. Though we do not see it or hear it from him, it is likely that Rainsford has at least some conflict over what he will do if he ever has the chance to kill Zaroff. In a civilized world, most people are unwilling to consider killing another human being. In this situation, however, Rainsford has come to the decision that he must kill Zaroff in order to save his own life--and the lives of others. It is not murder; it is self-defense.

The physical conflicts in the story all lead directly to Rainsford's internal conflicts. 

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Create an internal conflict within Sanger Rainsford in Richard Connell's “The Most Dangerous Game."

"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell is full of conflict, most of it external in the form of hunting. This man versus man conflict is the most evident when Sanger Rainsford is being hunted by General Zaroff. Both men are world-class hunters, so the drama and conflict are intense. 

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford boldly tells the ship's captain to 

[b]e a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters.

This quote implies that Raisnford has no compunctions or guilt about being a hunter who kills animals; in fact, he claims that the things which are hunted are in a completely separate class from those who hunt them. 

Clearly he has to rethink this long-held and much-practiced philosophy when the tables are turned and he becomes the hunted. This is one source of internal conflict for Rainsford. 

A second internal conflict is probably very short-lived, but he has to decide whether he is willing to kill General Zaroff if he gets the chance. Murder is not taken lightly by civilized human beings (which is, ironically, what Zaroff claims and appears to be), so it had to be something Rainsford was conflicted about. Clearly it did not take him long to resolve that conflict, though, as he kills Zaroff as soon as he has the opportunity to do so. 

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How does "The Most Dangerous Game" plot cause internal change in Sanger Rainsford?

If there is such a thing as karma in the world of fiction, Rainsford definitely begins to experience it as he comes to understand what it means to be the hunted instead of the hunter. When Rainsford falls off his yacht and has to swim to Ship Trap Island, he engages in a deadly game with General Zaroff, the owner of the island. Zaroff, too, is a hunter, and he wants the ultimate prize, a human kill. Throughout the story, Rainsford and Zaroff square off in a “survival of the fittest” death match to see who is the most powerful. The two men engage in a cat and mouse game, and Rainsford symbolically becomes an animal who has to use all of his instincts to survive. At the end of the story, Rainsford confronts Zaroff in his bedroom. The hunted, Rainsford, has now cornered the hunter, Zaroff. They have a sword duel, and Rainsford kills Zaroff and sleeps in Zaroff’s bed that night.

I’m not so sure Rainsford learns or changes much by the end of the story. There isn’t any epiphany at the end where Rainsford vows he will never hunt again. The ending is ambiguous in its meaning. Does Rainsford enjoy killing Zaroff and now have killing humans “in his blood”? Or, does he learn a lesson about killing innocent animals because he finally understands what it feels like to be tracked and hunted? It’s up to the reader to decide because the author, Richard Connell, really leaves it up in the air for the reader to analyze. Perhaps Rainsford’s karma is yet to be realized.

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How does "The Most Dangerous Game" plot cause internal change in Sanger Rainsford?

Sanger Rainsford starts out as a hunter, used to hunting wild game.  When he gets marooned on Zaroff's island, he ceases to be the hunter, and becomes the hunted.  This turns everything that Rainsford knew on it's head.  He's always been the predator, never the prey.  As the "game" goes on, Rainsford turns to his own hunting skills as survival skills.  He begins to earn an appreciation for the evasiveness of the animals he hunted, and what the hunt is all about from both perspectives.  Especially when he starts turning the tables on General Zaroff.  When Rainsford eventually wins the "game," he is just about done with "game" hunting. 

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What is Zaroff's internal conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

General Zaroff is the antagonist in Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," and there is no evidence that he feels conflicted about anything in this story. 

When a character wrestles with his own conscience or, perhaps, with God, he experiences internal conflict. Zaroff feels no compunction (no pangs of conscience) and no regret for anything he does which might be considered conflict. 

It is true that Zaroff regrets getting bored with hunting animals, but he describes that as something much less than a conflict:

I was bitterly disappointed. I was lying in my tent with a splitting headache one night when a terrible thought pushed its way into my mind. Hunting was beginning to bore me!

He goes on to say that he "had no wish to go to pieces" and had to think of something, but that does not really seem like a conflict, either. 

Zaroff's decision to hunt humans instead of animals gives him no conflict whatsoever. He has no qualms at all about tricking ships into crashing into the rocks surrounding his island; instead, he is nearly giddy with excitement when he shows Rainsford how he does it. He has no bad feelings about killing the shipwrecked sailors; in fact, he disdains them as if they are not really human and therefore do not deserve to live. He explains to Rainsford:

That's the trouble with these sailors; they have dull brains to begin with, and they do not know how to get about in the woods. They do excessively stupid and obvious things. It's most annoying. 

He feels nothing at all when he gives Rainsford (and the others) a choice between being hunted/killed in three days and tortured/killed slowly by Ivan; Zaroff will be heartbroken if Rainsford chooses to be tortured rather than hunt, but he experiences no conflict about giving Rainsford two such horrific choices.

Zaroff is not conflicted during the three days of hunting, and he does not seem to feel any kind of internal reaction when Rainsford unexpectedly shows up in his bedroom on the third night. He simply smiles and declares Rainsford the victor in this hunt.

The only moment we could suspect Zaroff has some real internal conflict is when he realizes Rainsford is not content just to be free and intends to kill the general. It happens very quickly both in time and in the story and we cannot be sure, but Zaroff probably had at least a few seconds of regret or conflict or something similar as he faced Rainsford in a fight for his life.

Other than his selfish desire not to be bored and perhaps a moment of conflict just before he is killed, there is no evidence that Zaroff is conflicted about anything he does. 

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What is the internal conflict for Zaroff?

Zaroff's internal conflict is his conflict with boredom.  

Zaroff is a very experienced hunter. He has hunted just about every major predator the planet has to offer, and he has been victorious. He's gotten so good at hunting that even the most dangerous of predators isn't a challenge for him anymore. Consequently, hunting is beginning to bore Zaroff.

"They were no match at all for a hunter with his wits about him, and a high-powered rifle. I was bitterly disappointed. I was lying in my tent with a splitting headache one night when a terrible thought pushed its way into my mind. Hunting was beginning to bore me! And hunting, remember, had been my life."

Zaroff says that hunting is his life, so the fact that hunting is starting to bore him is a major problem. Zaroff is essentially admitting that he is struggling with a purposeless life. He needs to find an exciting hunting challenge. His solution is to hunt humans.

"Oh," said the general, "it supplies me with the most exciting hunting in the world. No other hunting compares with it for an instant. Every day I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have a quarry with which I can match my wits."

Hunting humans reinvigorates Zaroff's passion for hunting, because humans offer what no other species can offer. Humans are able to reason.

"I wanted the ideal animal to hunt," explained the general. "So I said, `What are the attributes of an ideal quarry?' And the answer was, of course, `It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason."'

For Zaroff, his main internal struggle isn't whether or not killing a human is right or wrong. His main internal struggle is avoiding boredom. Hunting humans is not a moral problem for Zaroff, because it allows him to avoid being bored.

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What is the internal conflict for Zaroff?

There are quite a few conflicts that the characters are faced with in this short story. Zaroff's major internal conflict stems from the fact that he no longer enjoys hunting animals.  Zaroff's internal conflict is that he does not see the challenge in hunting animals and needs to find a more intelligent type of prey to hunt -- for him this prey becomes man.  The internal conflict then becomes -- does he hunt man or does he continue to hunt something that he does not see a point in hunting.  Zaroff obviously makes the decision to hunt man. 

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Describe Rainsford's internal conflict before leaping into the sea in "The Most Dangerous Game."

It's pretty simple, really. Rainsford knows he has few choices. He can remain on the island, with Zaroff and the dogs at his heels, knowing that he has little chance of defeating them without a weapon (he has already used his knife in one of his traps). It means certain death. He can leap from the cliff into the dangerous waters below, where he might be killed on the rocks; or, he might survive the plunge, and then where will he go? Drowning is then a distinct likelihood. When he made the decision to double back and return to Zaroff's bedroom is unknown, but at some point, Rainsford added this possibility into the overall equation, and it proved to be the one option that he had to survive the night.

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What is the first conflict that Rainsford must face in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Rainsford's first conflict in Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" must be considered man vs. nature. The story itself also includes a man vs. man conflict when Rainsford meets General Zaroff. After hearing a gunshot from a nearby island as his yacht travels toward South America, Rainsford leaps onto the ship's railing, and, when he inadvertently loses his pipe, he tumbles into the sea as the yacht speeds ahead. He must fight the natural elements to survive.

Once in the ocean, Rainsford swims furiously for about fifty feet before he comes to his senses and realizes he must conserve his strength in the heavy surf:

A certain coolheadedness had come to him; it was not the first time he had been in a tight place. There was a chance his cries could be heard by someone aboard the yacht, but that chance was slender and grew more slender as the yacht raced on. He wrestled himself out of his clothes and...remembered the shots. They had come from the right, and doggedly he swam in that direction, swimming with slow, deliberate strokes, conserving his strength.

Eventually Rainsford reaches the island because he had not lost his head. This trait of remaining calm and evaluating every aspect of a situation will serve Rainsford well as he eludes Zaroff during the hunt in the jungle which takes up the second half of the story. This early conflict with nature provides foreshadowing for Rainsford's actions later in the story.

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What is the first conflict that Rainsford must face in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

The very first conflict that Rainsford experiences happens before he even meets Zaroff and lands on Ship-Trap island.  On his yacht, Rainsford is reflectively smoking his pipe when he hears gunshots coming from the island obscured by a fog.   Rainsford drops his pipe and while grabbing for it, falls into the ocean. From there, he must swim to the island in the treacherous ocean, conserving his energy in order to make it. So, the very first conflict Rainsford has is with nature and trying to survive the ocean. 

After that, the main conflict in the story is against Zaroff as Rainsford is hunted.  Rainsford fights for his life (like the big game he has hunted all his life) against Zaroff until the end when he kills Zaroff and takes over the island as the new winner of the “most dangerous game.” 

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What external conflict is Rainsford confronted with?

First, Rainsford must swim to save his life. Then Rainsford must avoid being killed by Zaroff. This is the main external conflict. Using his skills and knowledge as a hunter/predator, Rainsford tries to become an impossibly elusive prey. But this external conflict is inextricably linked to his internal conflict. Rainsford hunts and justifies this by saying that humans are superior to animals. Rainsford tells Zaroff that he does not condone cold-blooded murder even though he killed in the war. Zaroff also thinks humans are superior to animals because of his ability to reason. Both men claim justification for killing (animals and humans) based on superiority and/or a civilized reason.

Rainsford survives (his external conflict) by becoming the hunter of Zaroff. By the end of the story, we get the impression that Rainsford is, or has become, more like Zaroff than he might like to admit. In his simplistic view of the world as hunter and "huntee," Rainsford chooses to be one of the hunters. The question that is left unanswered is if he has learned anything in being one of the huntees (prey). He sleeps in Zaroff's bed and this suggests that he is exactly like Zaroff and has therefore learned nothing. Looking at the story as a whole, with the savage context of "kill or be killed," this is Rainsford's external conflict: kill or be killed, or "survival of the fittest." The conflict shows the murderous potential of humanity and this hardly justifies the notion that humans are superior to other species.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

When Rainsford first appears in the story I dislike his cold-blooded attitude about killing animals. I realize there are people like this, people who enjoy killing living things and considering it good fun. Ernest Hemingway enjoyed killing animals, birds, and fish and despised people who didn't. Theodore Roosevelt was another such "sportsman." To people like myself it doesn't seem sportsmanlike to kill an animal from a distance with a high-powered rifle. The contest is unequal. I only began to sympathize with Rainsford when he became the hunted animal himself, but I never really liked him. Characters in fiction always have problems because readers identify with them on the basis of their problems and not on the basis of their personalities. Another good example is the protagonist of Jack London's "To Build a Fire." There is nothing likable about this brutal man, but we identify with him because he has a problem of staying alive. Fiction is full of problems because that is the way to get reader involvement. The easiest way to analyze a story is to ask who wants what and why can't he or she get it. In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is just a lost child who only wants to get home.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

I admire Rainsford for maintaining his principles. He might have thought Zarroff was crazy and decided to play along and hunt the captives. Instead he protested. You could even argue that he was saving the lives of future captives by killing Zarroff. However I do think that Rainsford killed him in revenge for making him play the game.
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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

I am not at all impressed with Rainsford in the first few pages of "The Most Dangerous Game." He is pompous and arrogant, clearly believing he is a superior sort of human being. However, he soon has to face his own mortality when General Zaroff hints him. I appreciate his resourcefulness and his bravery in the face of mortal danger.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

I am not at all impressed with Rainsford in the first few pages of "The Most Dangerous Game." He is pompous and arrogant, clearly believing he is a superior sort of human being. However, he soon has to face his own mortality when General Zaroff hints him. I appreciate his resourcefulness and his bravery in the face of mortal danger.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

"The Most Dangerous Game" is a Darwinian short story, with the survival of the fittest as a clear and strong motif.  As the survivor against the cruel and sadistic General Zaroff, Rainsford is extremely impressive.  In addition, he has learned to understand the beasts of prey as he himself has been made into one.  So, perhaps he will sympathize with the animals that he hunts.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Especially as a young person, I really admired Rainsford's bravery and toughness.  I was growing up in a society that very much valued a macho vision of what a man was and so I wanted to be like that.  I admired how he could hold himself together and be brave in the face of death.  At that point, I never disliked anything about him.

Nowadays, I have to admit I still don't dislike much of anything about him.  I can't get too worked up about him not caring about jaguars' feelings since I've hunted too.  I do question whether he might become the next Zaroff and start hunting people, but I'm not sure enough of that to dislike him.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

This might be moved to the Discussion Board, as many editors will have answers for you based on a variety of Rainsford's character traits.

I admire Rainsford's resourcefulness. He seems able to use just a few features of the forest to be able to create traps for Zaroff or his dogs three times. He also used his knowledge of hunting to create a difficult trail to follow.

On the other hand, every time I read this story I get mad at him in the first few paragraphs. He is so cocky, so overconfident. He and Whitney's discussion of the jaguar prove this. He doesn't care for the feelings of the jaguar and this ends up being the irony of the story as he feels what it is like to be hunted.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

An admirable trait of Rainsford's is his perseverance.  He does not give up during any of the challenges with which he is faced.  When Rainsford falls into the ocean, he swims until he reaches shore, despite the fact that fatigue threatens to overwhelm him.  After General Zaroff informs him of his delight in hunting humans, Rainsford refuses to accept this idea and is forced to play the role of the hunted for his doing so.  Persistence and determination, in addition to his skills as an outdoorsman and his inate cleverness, enable Rainsford to ultimately defeat General Zaroff.  Had Rainsford possessed any less perseverance, he probably would have died either from drowning or at Zaroff's hands.

In the beginning of the story, Rainsford shows a certain degree of cockiness and hardheartedness.  This is evident in his obvious lack of sympathy for or consideration of the feelings of his prey.  It is not necessary that hunters be unfeeling or kill casually.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Sanger Rainsford, the main character in Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game," is a world class hunter who falls off his yacht and swims ashore on Ship-Trap Island. Rainsford is resourceful, cunning and physically imposing. He is intelligent, well-read and worldly, since he recognizes many of the fine accoutrements in Zaroff's home. He enjoys a good meal, a fine wine and a comfortable bed. He keeps his head even under the most trying conditions, and he has nerve enough for many men.

The fact that he is a skillful hunter may not necessarily be a positive trait, especially to animal rights activists. But unlike Zaroff, hunting animals satisfy him--at least until the end of the story when his desire for revenge overwhelms him.

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What do you admire or dislike about Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

While Rainsford may be foolish to go so near the side of the boat (an event that causes his fall into the water and eventual capture by Zaroff), there are quite a number of things about Rainsford in Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" that make this world-renowned hunter admirable.

Perhaps what I admire most is that even though Rainsford loves to hunt, he has no desire to compromise his moral code by hunting humans. Even though he is on an island under circumstances that would never allow anyone to know if he were to join Zaroff, it never occurs to him. His integrity is not governed by whether or not someone is watching, but by his unshakable sense of what he knows to be right.

“Tonight,” said the general, “we will hunt—you and I.”

Rainsford shook his head. “No, general,” he said. “I will not hunt.”

Another thing that I admire about Rainsford is his ability to think creatively even while running for his life. While running, he is able to come up with unusual methods not only to protect himself (like climbing the tree), he also adopts methods of defense to remove threats against him (such as Ivan) and engages in unique offensive tactics.

“Rainsford,” called the general, “if you are within sound of my voice, as I suppose you are, let me congratulate you. Not many men know how to make a Malay mancatcher."

Finally, though Rainsford initially experiences a moment of panic, he is able to work past it to do whatever he can to protect himself and survive.

Ironically, while Zaroff looks to find the "most dangerous game" in capturing and hunting unfortunate sailors, Rainsford's abilities to adapt and strategize make him the most dangerous game.

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How did the conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game" change Rainsford's character?

The conflict with Zaroff changed Rainsford from morally opposed to killing into willing to commit murder.

The central conflict in this story is the person versus person conflict between Rainsford and Zaroff. It leads to many internal conflicts in Rainsford. Rainsford’s conflicts involve his fear of Zaroff, his battle with his nerves, and his conflict over whether or not it is okay to kill humans.

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford is a hunter who enjoys hunting and does not ever stop to consider what the animal who is being hunting is feeling. 

When Rainsford and Whitney discuss the feelings of the animals, Rainsford does not take the animals's side.

Don't talk rot, Whitney," said Rainsford. "You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?"

"Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney.

"Bah! They've no understanding."

This shows that Rainsford has no problem with the concept of killing, is very good at it and even likes it. 

However, when he first learns that General Zaroff hunts human beings, he calls it murder.

“…I'll wager you'll forget your notions when you go hunting with me. You've a genuine new thrill in store for you, Mr. Rainsford."

"Thank you, I'm a hunter, not a murderer."

Rainsford apparently draws the line at hunting human beings.  Zaroff calls him old fashioned, but Rainsford refuses to hunt with him, so he has to be the prey.

During the game, Rainsford’s skills are put to the test.  It draws on his nerves.  He is used to being put in stressful situations.  That’s normal for a hunter, and he has also been in World War I.  However, this is apparently more dangerous than what he has ever faced.

Rainsford had dug himself in in France when a second's delay meant death. That had been a placid pastime compared to his digging now.

When Rainsford keeps matching wits with Zaroff, and Zaroff toys with him again and again, it wears him down.  Part of the problem is that the general seems to be very good, and part of the problem is that Rainsford seems to always be right at the edge of losing.

He stood there, rubbing his injured shoulder, and Rainsford, with fear again gripping his heart, heard the general's mocking laugh ring through the jungle.

Whether the general only just gets away, or stops and goes back, Rainsford feels like his nerves are always fraying.  He never knows if his next effort is going to work. He makes traps and weapons, and they always seem to only just miss.  One kills a dog, one kills Ivan, and one only wounds Zaroff.

This is why Rainsford finally decides he has had enough.  He simply can’t take it anymore.

"Nerve, nerve, nerve!" he panted, as he dashed along. …. Ever nearer drew the hounds. … Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea. . .

Zaroff is shocked when Raisford shows up in his house, and asks him how he got there.  He is very impressed when he learns that he swam, and tells him that he won the game.  Rainsford is either not convinced or not satisfied, and tells him that he is “still a beast at bay.”  They fight, and he kills Zaroff.  He has become the very thing that he refused to allow.   He has become a murderer.  Rainsford has no regrets for killing Zaroff.

He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided. 

Whether you feel that Rainsford is a murderer, or killed Zaroff in self-defense, depends on your point of view.  One way or another, it is clear that the conflict changed Rainsford.  He was opposed to killing anything but animals when the story began.  At the end of the story he can kill a man and sleep like a baby.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how has the game changed Rainsford?

It is debatable whether or not Rainsford is a dynamic character in "The Most Dangerous Game." Through a discussion with Whitney during the exposition of the story, we learn that Rainsford has no concerns when it comes to how an animal feels when it is being hunted. Ironically, he later becomes the hunted to Zaroff, the hunter.

Through third-person omniscient point of view, the reader witnesses Rainsford's feelings while being stalked by his aggressor. At the end of the story, Rainsford wins the "game" by killing Zaroff. Whether or not his opinion on the feelings of animals has changed is yet to be known, as the story ends abruptly with Rainsford having a good night's sleep in Zaroff's bed. We would hope that because he was treated like an animal, he has developed some empathy.

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How does Rainsford stay calm and motivated in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

I assume that you are talking about the part towards the end of the story where General Zaroff is hunting Sanger Rainsford.

When this is happening, Rainsford fears for his life.  It seems to him that he will surely be caught and killed.  Mostly, what he does to stay calm is to talk to himself.  He tells himself to calm down.  He tells himself to keep his nerve.  So he is just forcing himself to keep calm and motivated.

This shows us how strong a character Rainsford is.  He can keep his head at a time like that just by willing himself to do so.

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What is Rainsford's view on hunters and the hunted in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" is about a twisted hunting contest between two men. Sanger Rainsford, a famous big game hunter, is shipwrecked on a remote island where he meets the diabolical owner of the island, General Zaroff. Zaroff has grown bored with hunting animals, so he now hunts men on his island.

In the beginning of the story, Rainsford and his companion, Whitney, are on their way to the Amazon jungle to hunt jaguars. Just before Rainsford accidentally falls overboard, the two men have a discussion about hunting. Whitney believes that animals have feelings and that they actually know fear and suffering. Rainsford dismisses Whitney's ideas. He believes the hunted were put on the earth for the hunter and it doesn't matter how the animal feels. Rainsford says,

"This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters." 

His words are ironic, as later in the story Rainsford becomes the "huntee" for the hunter Zaroff. He is a "beast at bay," and the reader may come to the conclusion that by the end of the story Rainsford will have a different appreciation of what the hunted animal goes through. It is doubtful Rainsford will ever hunt again after his experience.

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What are Rainford's views on hunters and their prey in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Rainsford is a respected hunter and author of books on the subject.  For that reason, Zaroff respects him right off the bat.  However, when Rainsford refuses to join Zaroff in hunting humans, Rainsford becomes the hunted himself.  Rainsford states that what Zaroff is doing is cruel and unusual.  Rainsford says that Zaroff's sport of hunting humans is brutal and barbaric, and that Zaroff is nothing more than a murderer.

Of course, the hunt for Rainsford is a tense one.  Rainsford is constantly attempting to keep his head and use his knowledge of hunting and trapping to avoid Zaroff.  He does kill Ivan, Zaroff's assistant, and one of the dogs used to track him.  Zaroff toys with Rainsford by outsmarting him and then letting him go.  Rainsford, in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of Zaroff, confronts him in Zaroff's bedroom.  Instead of letting Zaroff go, however, Rainsford kills him to end the game for good.  He spends a night in comfort rather than in trees and the wilderness, and we are all left wondering if Rainsford is actually better than Zaroff, or if he will just simply take Zaroff's place on the island.

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What motivates the character Rainsford in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

In his deadly game with General Zaroff, Rainsford is motivated primarily by the need to survive. For the first time in his long, illustrious career as a big-game hunter, he's discovered what it's like to be the quarry. He must somehow draw on all his skill, his cunning, and every last ounce of courage he can muster if he is to deprive the evil Zaroff of his "sport." Rainsford didn't ask to be in this situation, but now that he's here on Ship-Trap Island, he has no choice but to get in touch with his inner animal if he's not to end up as another one of Zaroff's trophies.

Rainsford's also motivated by the desire for revenge. He knows that if he survives this deadly game of cat and mouse, he can't just walk away from his ordeal as if nothing had happened. He'll need to settle accounts with Zaroff once and for all and make sure that he never gets the chance to hunt down human prey ever again.

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Is Rainsford's conflict with Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game" internal or external?

Sanger Rainsford's conflict with General Zaroff is an example of a man versus man conflict, which is an external conflict. In the short story, Sanger Rainsford is trapped on General Zaroff's island and is forced to survive for three days as the maniacal general hunts him. Rainsford is forced to survive and maneuver through the wilderness while he is being followed by the general, who carries a loaded weapon. Rainsford's man versus man conflict is considered external because he must overcome an opposing force from outside himself. Another external conflict that Rainsford must overcome is the difficult natural environment of the island, which is considered a man versus nature conflict. Rainsford's internal conflict is within himself and does not involve General Zaroff. His internal conflict involves his struggle to maintain his composure and think clearly amidst the terrifying situation.

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How do Rainsford's decisions affect his survival in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

As Rainsford finds himself in a game of life and death, he has no option other than to play the game to the best of his abilities. At first, he is mainly defensive, but as he is being hunted, he realizes that he needs to be on the hunt as well. Perhaps, he realizes what he said in the beginning of the story that there are only two classes in the world, the hunter and the huntee. 

Whatever the reason is, Rainsford begins to go on the hunt. He realizes that waiting or fleeing are only delaying the inevitable. So, he decides on an alternate strategy, which leads him to swim to Zaroff and wait for him at home. In other words, he is on the offensive. Here is what Rainsford thinks to himself:

Rainsford knew he could do one of two things. He could stay where he was and wait. That was suicide. He could flee. That was postponing the inevitable. For a moment he stood there, thinking. An idea that held a wild chance came to him, and, tightening his belt, he headed away from the swamp.

In light of these point, Rainsford's survival was made possible by his decision to alter his plans and embrace the game by hunting.

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Is Rainsford's conflict with Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game" internal or external?

The conflict between Rainsford and Zaroff Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" is both internal and external. External conflict is the conflict between two or more people, a person against nature, and a person against the supernatural. Internal conflict is a conflict one faces within himself or herself. 

One conflict Rainsford faces regarding Zaroff is external. Since he is running from Zaroff, so that he does not kill him, Rainsford conflicts with Zaroff himself. At the same time, Rainsford conflicts with nature because of his fight against Zaroff.

Internally, Ransford faces a conflict within himself. He does not wish to die. He knows that he possesses the skill to defeat Zaroff, but, at times, Rainsford questions his own ability. This is illustrated by the following quote: "I will not lose my nerve. I will not." 

In the end, Rainsford is able to overcome both his internal and external conflicts. 

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How does an external conflict in "The Most Dangerous Game" create an internal conflict for Sanger Rainsford?

An example of an external conflict that caused an internal conflict within Rainsford was General Zaroff’s decision to hunt him.

An external conflict is a conflict between a character and someone else.  Being his prey made Rainsford have an external conflict with Zaroff, but determining how to defeat him caused an internal conflict.  An internal conflict is a problem one has with one’s self.  It is a fear or decision that needs to be made.  Rainsford was afraid of Zaroff, and worried about how he would defeat him.

Rainsford did not want to believe what his reason told him was true, but the truth was as evident as the sun that had by now pushed through the morning mists. The general was playing with him!

Rainsford has to find a way to overcome his fear of Zaroff and the island, and also find ways to use the most of his cunning and skill.  He also has to decide what to do when he faces off with Zaroff in the end. 

Rainsford decides to kill his nemesis.  Does he experience an internal conflict about this?  We do not know, because we are not privy to Rainsford’s thoughts at the time.  We can assume he did, because he objected to murder earlier.

If he felt any conflict with killing Zaroff, Rainsford must have come to the conclusion that killing a murderer in self-defense (or not, depending on your interpretation of the story and what you think Zaroff woould do) is acceptable.

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