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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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Rainsford's strategies for survival, escape, and victory in "The Most Dangerous Game"

Summary:

Rainsford's survival strategies in "The Most Dangerous Game" include creating intricate traps, such as the Malay mancatcher and Burmese tiger pit, to slow down and injure Zaroff. He also uses misleading trails to confuse his pursuer. Ultimately, Rainsford leaps into the sea to escape, swims back to Zaroff's mansion, and confronts him, securing victory through surprise and direct confrontation.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

Rainsford wins the game through his skill as a hunter. Of course, Rainsford's game with Zaroff is unlike any of his other hunts in that he is the one being pursued. Instead of trying to fight Zaroff head-on, Rainsford must evade him entirely. Rainsford is admirable in how adaptable he is to this situation. He must assume a whole new set of tactics to "win," such as hiding, creating booby traps, and fashioning false trails to get Zaroff off his scent.

Zaroff's inability to inhabit the perspective of both the hunter and the hunted is what puts him at a disadvantage in the game. He is an arrogant man who believes he is superior to not only all animals but to "lower" humans as well (which he defines as low-class people and non-whites). He cannot conceive that his prey could outwit him, even if humans are more rational than animals.

In their last confrontation in Zaroff's bedroom, the two have a more conventional battle that ends with Rainsford killing his pursuer. Here, the two are ironically not playing hunter and hunted, but come off more as two beasts fighting for dominance (Rainsford even calls himself "a beast at bay"). Ultimately, a combination of his hunting expertise, his ability to assume the mindset of prey and predator, and his physical strength allow Rainsford to gain the upper hand in the game.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

Rainsford is able to win the “game” by showing himself to be a stronger representative of the human race than his antagonist, General Zaroff. Zaroff had always believed in a warped kind of Darwinism, in which the strong have the absolute right to dominate and control the weak, and the weak, the so-called inferior species, go to the wall. Not surprisingly, Zaroff believed himself to be one of the strong.

However, it transpires that Zaroff couldn't have been more wrong. For it turns out that Rainsford was much stronger than him, as can be seen by the way that he outwits his pursuer during their “game”. Rainsford's superior survival skills, not to mention his outstanding skills as a hunter, enable him to gain the upper hand on the man hunting him down like an animal.

Rainsford may be a hunter himself, but by putting himself in the position of a hunted animal, he's able to turn the tables on Zaroff. This puts him at a distinct advantage to his pursuer, as Zaroff, with his obsession with the idea of the strong dominating the weak, is incapable of thinking like a hunted animal. Rainsford eventually drives home his advantage, with fatal consequences for the defeated Zaroff.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

In "The Most Dangerous Game," Rainsford swims to the nearby Ship-Trap Island after falling overboard and arrives at General Zaroff's palatial chateau, where he eats dinner with the seemingly civilized, hospitable general. During their first meal together, Zaroff admits that he hunts humans throughout his island for sport, and Rainsford is disgusted by the general's confession. When Rainsford refuses to hunt alongside the general, Zaroff turns him into a contestant in the most dangerous game. Rainsford is given a small number of supplies and forced to avoid the armed general for three consecutive days throughout the island.

During the most dangerous game, Rainsford utilizes his survival skills and relies on his experience as a renowned hunter to evade and outwit General Zaroff. Rainsford creates false paths, fashions deadly booby traps, and carefully traverses the dangerous island to avoid Zaroff. Rainsford makes a Malay Mancatcher, digs a Burmese Tiger Pit, and builds a Ugandan Spring Trap to significantly slow down the general, buying himself enough time to create more distance between himself and Zaroff. Towards the end of the story, Rainsford realizes that the general is closing in on him and makes the risky decision to jump into the Caribbean Sea. Fortunately, Rainsford manages to swim ashore and sneaks into Zaroff's room, where he surprises the unsuspecting general and defeats him in a duel. In conclusion, Rainsford ends up winning the most dangerous game by evading General Zaroff for three consecutive days on Ship-Trap Island before killing him inside his bedroom.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

After Sanger Rainsford swims to Ship-Trap Island and is introduced to the maniacal General Zaroff, he discovers that the general hunts humans—what Zaroff refers to as the most dangerous game—on the island. As part of the general's scheme, Rainsford is given hunting clothes, a knife, and a small ration of food that will last for three days. Rainsford must survive on the island for three days while the general hunts him using a small caliber pistol and help from his servant and hunting dogs. Rainsford ends up winning this game by successfully avoiding General Zaroff and surviving for three consecutive days on Ship-Trap Island. After Rainsford wins the game, he sneaks into the general's room in his massive chateau, where he ends up killing the general in a one-on-one fight to the death.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

In Connell's short story The Most Dangerous Game, Rainsford was able to defeat General Zaroff.

Rainsford is challenged by Zaroff to a hunt. Zaroff has become bored by hunting "typical" prey (given their inability to reason). Given that only man can reason, Zaroff has decided to hunt man. Rainsford, forced to the island, has become Zaroff's new prey.

Zaroff challenges Rainsford to a deadly hunt, where only the survivor can be named the winner. Knowing that Rainsford is a skilled hunter, Zaroff believe this hunt will be his most worthy yet.

In the end, Rainsford is able to beat Zaroff by killing him. Rainsford is able to escape capture by making Zaroff think that he died. Rainsford returns to Zaroff's castle, surprises him, and kills him. Therefore, Rainsford wins the game by exterminating Zaroff.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

In "The Most Dangerous Game," General Zaroff hunts Sanger Rainsford throughout Ship-Trap Island, and Rainsford must rely on his survival skills and resourcefulness to endure the harrowing experience. Rainsford outsmarts Zaroff by leading the general directly into deadly booby traps that he learned to make during past hunting expeditions. After Rainsford discovers that Zaroff is an expert hunter capable of following an intricate path in the jungle at night, he resorts to making his first booby trap to stall his advance and hopefully end the general's life.

Rainsford understands that Zaroff is an arrogant hunter who believes he is infallible and cannot be defeated. Rainsford uses Zaroff's pride and overconfidence against him by forcing the general to reassess the island and the way he hunts. Zaroff is used to quickly catching his quarry and moves carelessly at a fast pace. Rainsford uses this to his advantage, and the booby traps he makes are a reliable method to counter the general's attack. Rainsford is also careful not to replicate the same trap twice in order to keep the general on his toes. Zaroff dramatically underestimates Rainsford's skill and does not take into account the various ways his victim can be on the offensive.

The first booby trap that Rainsford constructs is a "Malay mancatcher," and Zaroff accidentally steps on its trigger, causing a massive dead tree to fall in his direction. Although Zaroff survives the trap, he is wounded and must return to his chateau to recover. Rainsford later digs a Burmese tiger pit, which claims the life of one of Zaroff's most prized hunting dogs. Rainsford's skill at constructing booby traps poses a serious threat to Zaroff and creates more distance between the two men.

Rainsford's final booby trap, which he had learned in Uganda, claims the life of Ivan and buys Rainsford enough time to run and jump into the sea before Zaroff catches him. In addition to Rainsford's resourcefulness in the jungle and clever booby traps, he also outsmarts General Zaroff by swimming to his chateau and sneaking into his bedroom, where he challenges him to combat. General Zaroff mistakenly underestimates Rainsford's skill as a survivalist and pays the ultimate price at the end of the story.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford win?

One way that Rainsford tried to beat Zaroff was building a pit for him to fall into.

Rainsford was fearing for his life when he went through the forest to the Death Swamp of quicksand.  Zaroff was gaining on him, and he had nowhere else to go.  This was his last recourse.  He digs a pit and covers it so it can’t be seen.      

These stakes he planted in the bottom of the pit with the points sticking up. With flying fingers he wove a rough carpet of weeds and branches and with it he covered the mouth of the pit.

Rainsford has skills both as a soldier and as a hunter.  He has to call upon these skills to survive.  He decides to build a Burmese tiger pit.  He thinks Zaroff might fall in because he seems to be coming unusually swiftly.

You've done well, Rainsford," the voice of the general called. "Your Burmese tiger pit has claimed one of my best dogs. Again you score. I think, Mr. Rainsford….

In a way, Rainsdford scores a victory.  General Zaroff stops for the night and goes home.  This buys Rainsford a more peaceful night.  He earned the right to rest, even if he did not capture the general.  However, there was a consequence.

I’ll see what you can do against my whole pack. I'm going home for a rest now. Thank you for a most amusing evening.

Partly to rev up the game and partly as revenge for losing the dog, Zaroff decides to return the next day with the entire pack.  So while Rainsford was able to win a short victory, he also got himself into trouble.  Now he has to fight off not just one dog, but a whole pack.

This incident greatly increases the suspense.  We are not sure if Rainsford will survive.  We are not sure if he got Zaroff.  When Zaroff says he is going to retun the next night, we know that Rainsford is really in for it.

Rainsford is in an impossible situation.  He is being hunted deliberately like an animal.  Even when he was in the war, he did not feel as threatened.  The building of the tiger pit is an example of Rainsford’s ingenuity and clear-headedness.  Yet it is also an example of how uneven the fight was, since he had almost nothing and Zarrof had a pack of dogs and more weapons. 

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how does Rainsford finally outwit Zaroff's dogs?

Rainsford swims across the bay, doubling back to the "castle" while the dogs have been sent out (along with Ivan) to flair his trail. In this way he accomplishes three things:

  1. He gains time by going back to the castle in a straight line.
  2. By being in the water the dogs can't trace his scent.
  3. He ambushes Zaroff where he least expects him, while at the same time being safe from the dogs outside.

Finally, it's not the dogs Rainsford outwits but Zaroff himself.

Incidentally, Zaroff's favourite hunting dog falls victim to one of Rainsford's traps, originally intended for Ivan, Zaroff's butler and henchman.

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What was Rainsford's method of escape in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

On the third day of being hunted by General Zaroff throughout Ship-Trap Island, the general closes in on Rainsford, who is forced to fashion a trap that he learned to make in Uganda. Fortunately, Rainsford is able to kill Zaroff's massive servant, Ivan, using the trap but is unable to halt the general's advance.

As Zaroff and his baying dogs approach Rainsford, he has no other choice but to sprint towards the "blue gap" that shows through the trees. Once Rainsford reaches the island's edge, he leaps into the sea and manages to get away from Zaroff.

Rainsford survives the treacherous waters and ends up sneaking into Zaroff's chateau, where he surprises the general in his room. Rainsford proceeds to kill the general in hand-to-hand combat and rests peacefully in his bed after his victory. The story ends with him comfortably settling into the general's bed.

Overall, Rainsford ends up making his getaway from the general by sprinting towards the sea and leaping into the ocean before the general can reach him.

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How does Rainsford escape the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Technically, Sanger Rainsford never really escapes the island in "The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell. He asks to leave on the same night he arrives and as soon as General Zaroff reveals that he intends to hunt Rainsford; however, Zaroff refuses his request.

After three days of being hunted, Rainsford finds himself trapped. Zaroff and his dogs are behind him, and Rainsford has very little choice about his next move. 

A blue gap showed between the trees dead ahead. Ever nearer drew the hounds. Rainsford forced himself on toward that gap. He reached it. It was the shore of the sea. Across a cove he could see the gloomy gray stone of the chateau. Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea....

This, then, is how he "escaped" from the island, but of course he returns. That night, a contented Zaroff goes to his bedroom and turns the light on; he is shocked to find Rainsford hiding behind his curtains. 

"Rainsford!" screamed the general. "How in God's name did you get here?"

"Swam," said Rainsford. "I found it quicker than walking through the jungle."

That short time between jumping off the cliff and returning to Zaroff's mansion is Rainsford's only "escape" from the island. We can assume, however, that he eventually does leave Ship-Trap Island--but not until after he has a good night's sleep in General Zaroff's bed. 

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How does Rainsford escape the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Rainsford falls off his boat, swims to the island, and finds Zaroff’s chateau because it is the only light on the island.

Rainsford had no intention of visiting Ship-trap Island.  With a name like that, who would?  He knew very little about it except sailors’ lore, none of it good.  On the boat he learned that the island had a bad reputation, but no specifics, and certainly nothing about inhabitants.  He fell off the boat by accident.

Upon landing on the island, things immediately got strange.  He had heard gunshots, and found evidence of a large animal thrashing around in the brush—but a small caliber weapon shell. 

"A twenty-two," he remarked. "That's odd. It must have been a fairly large animal too. The hunter had his nerve with him to tackle it with a light gun. It's clear that the brute put up a fight.

This is Rainsford’s first introduction to Zaroff, and what is going on here on this island.  It is also foreshadowing for the reader that the “fairly large animal” is a human being, and the hunter is no ordinary hunter either.

Rainsford continues, and finds something else he clearly did not expect to see on this odd Caribbean island—a castle.

But as he forged along he saw to his great astonishment that all the lights were in one enormous building--a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom. His eyes made out the shadowy outlines of a palatial chateau…

Clearly, Zaroff likes to make an impression.  The house is so big and impressive that at first Rainsford thinks it is a mirage.  When he goes in, he is impressed, and a little afraid, again.  He sees what he calls a “giant” in Ivan, Zaroff’s huge bodyguard and assistant.  Ivan clearly makes Rainsford ill at ease, and that is exactly his purpose.  The fact that the man is mute does not help matters.  It just makes him more intimidating.

Zaroff is described as having a “cultivated voice marked by a slight accent that gave it added precision and deliberateness.”  He tries to be civilized, which is ironic considering his favorite pastime, but everything about him is imposing.

He was a tall man past middle age, for his hair was a vivid white; but his thick eyebrows and pointed military mustache were as black as the night from which Rainsford had come. His eyes, too, were black and very bright.

Rainsford notes that he is aristocratic, with the “face of a man used to giving orders.”  Zaroff, who still introduces himself as “General” even though he has no army, invites Rainsford to dinner and provides his viewpoint on life.  Eventually it dawns on Rainsford what is going on.  By the time he realizes that if he cannot be the hunter, he has to be the prey, it is too late.  He is going to play the game whether he likes it or not.

Rainsford is a trained hunter, and in fact has written many books on the subject.  He is used to being in tough situations, and lives by instinct.  His instincts completely fail him in this situation.  He takes life by the reigns and just goes for it, survival being the ultimate objective no matter what.  He never saw this coming.  Ultimately, Rainsford is able to use his wits to outsmart Zaroff, but at what cost.  He ends up becoming the very thing he despises.  He tells Zaroff he is nothing more than “a beast at bay” right before he kills him, proving Zaroff’s point.  We are no different from the animals.

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How did Rainsford get on this island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Renowned big game hunter Sanger Rainsford was on the way to South America to track the elusive jaguar along the Amazon River when he first came upon Ship-Trap Island. Rainsford was aboard his yacht, talking with his friend, Whitney, when they passed near the island, invisible in the darkness of the night. After Whitney went to bed, Rainsford decided to enjoy a last smoke before retiring for the night. When he heard a gunshot in the distance, 

He leaped upon the rail and balanced himself there, to get greater elevation; his pipe, striking a rope, was knocked from his mouth. He lunged for it; a short, hoarse cry came from his lips as he realized he had reached too far and had lost his balance. The cry was pinched off short as the blood-warm waters of the Caribbean Sea closed over his head.

Rainsford could not swim fast enough to catch up with his yacht, so he swam through the dark waters for the unseen shore. Growing tired, Rainsford began to wonder if he could make it, but when he heard the sound of waves crashing on the rocks, he summoned his last energy to pull himself ashore.

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How did Rainsford reach the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

As was mentioned in the previous post, Rainsford is traveling on a yacht through the Caribbean Sea when he hears several gunshots coming from the direction of a nearby island. Rainsford is startled and moves quickly to the rail of the yacht. As Rainsford is straining his eyes to see where the shots are coming from, he climbs on top of the rail and attempts to balance himself. Unfortunately, Rainsford's pipe gets knocked out of his mouth, and he reaches for it. When Rainsford reaches for his pipe, he loses his balance and falls off of the yacht into the water. The yacht continues to travel through the water at a rapid pace and Rainsford is unable to catch up to it. Rainsforth then begins to swim to his right towards the island where he heard the shots. After swimming for ten minutes, Rainsford reaches the rocky edge of the island and climbs the ledge of rocks to shore. 

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How did Rainsford reach the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

After Rainsford falls off the yacht, he calls for help but the yacht fades away quickly. Having zero visibility a cool-headedness comes over him because he remembered hearing shots from a certain direction. He begins to swim in that direction.

Again,

Rainsford heard a sound. It came out of the darkness , a high screaming sound, the sound of an animal in an extremity of anguish and terror.

This sound gave him a "fresh vitality" and he swam with more force in that direction. These sounds were of life and not just life on a boat, he would eventually hit land. He continued to hear gunshots. Finally he heard the lapping of water on a jagged rocky shore. He climbed the cliff and ended up on the edge of the jungle for a deep sleep.

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How did Rainsford reach the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Rainsford is on a yacht, heading somewhere to go hunting.  It is a very dark night, he and his companion can hardly see anything.

Rainsford is just hanging out when he hears a gunshot from an island that he knows is there, but cannot see in the dark.  In an attempt to see what is going on, he is stupid enough to jump up on the rail of the yacht.

While he is up there, his pipe bumps into a rope and falls out of his mouth.  When he grabs for it, he is not careful and into the water he goes.

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How did Rainsford reach the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

The story is missing some specifics, but  the outcome is that Rainsforth kills Zaroff.  At the end of the story, Rainsforth sleeps in Zaroff’s bed.  The implication is that Rainsforth has killed Zaroff.  After Rainsforth jumps off the cliff, Zaroff returns home.  Later that night Rainsforth appears, from where he has been hiding in Zaroff’s room, and Zaroff congratulates him on winning the game, but Rainsforth informs him that they are still playing.  Zaroff has assumed that Rainsforth won, because the game was to survive three days in the judge and Rainsforth has done so, but Rainsforth only wins when he kills Zaroff. 

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How did Rainsford reach the island in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

In Richard Connel's short story "The Most Dangerous Game" a big game hunter named Sanger Rainsford accidentally falls off a yacht heading for South America and swims to a nearby island. On the island he discovers a "palatial chateau" in the middle of the jungle. There he meets General Zaroff for the first time. Zaroff is a Cossack who fled Russia after the civil war. It turns out that, because he has grown bored with hunting animals, Zaroff now hunts men.

When Rainsford refuses to hunt with Zaroff, the general provides Rainsford with a three day head start, a pair of moccasins and a hunting knife. Then Zaroff sets out to hunt Rainsford. Although Rainsford wounds Zaroff and kills the general's servant and best dog, he eventually has to jump into the ocean to escape.

After eluding the general, Rainsford swims across a cove to Zaroff's chateau and hides in the bedroom. Rainsford confronts the general and they duel. The final lines of the story reveal that Rainsford has won:

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

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," how did Rainsford end up in Zaroff's room?

Unfortunately, the story does not elaborate at all on the methods Rainsford employed in order to swim to Zaroff's home or enter his bedroom.  We are only told that he jumps out as far as possible before hitting the water, presumably out of fear of landing on rocks.  Later, Zaroff, in shock, does question Rainsford's means of arriving in his room; Rainsford answers that he swam.  That is the extent of the reader's knowledge.

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How does Rainsford elude his hunter in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

He does a lot of stuff.

First he runs, almost panicked.  But then he calms down.  So then he lays a twisted trail for Zaroff to try to follow and he climbs up a tree to sleep.

Next he makes a trap with a fallen tree.  It hurts Zaroff but doesn't kill him.  Then he makes a Burmese tiger pit -- sharp stakes in a pit.  It gets one of the dogs, but not Zaroff.  Then he sets up a trap with the knife.  It kills Ivan.

What he finally did was jump out into the ocean and swam to Zaroff's place and (we are not told this) climbed up to Zaroff's room.

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