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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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Zaroff's most dangerous game and its rules in "The Most Dangerous Game"

Summary:

In "The Most Dangerous Game," Zaroff's most dangerous game involves hunting human beings. The rules are simple: Zaroff gives his prey a head start, supplies, and a knife. If the hunted can evade Zaroff for three days, they win their freedom. If Zaroff catches them, they lose their life.

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According to Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

According to Zaroff, the most dangerous game is Humans.  Humans have intelligence and cunning that typical game animals lack.  Humans can fight back in a way that typical game animals cannot. This difference in capability intrigues Zaroff, and makes for a much more "entertaining" hunt than typical hunting does. 

Rainsford proves this over the following three days.  He sets a trap, using a flexible tree as a spring to stab an unsuspecting victim.  The trap kills Zaroff's aide, Ivan.  Rainsford kills one of Zaroff's hounds with a "Burmese Tiger Pit."  Ultimately Rainsford kills Zaroff, proving that a man is very dangerous game. 

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According to General Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

In Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game," Sanger Rainsford and his friend Whitney are en route to hunt jaguars in Rio de Janeiro when Rainsford accidentally falls overboard and is forced to swim to the nearby island of Ship-Trap.

Once there, Rainsford meets another big-game hunter by the name of General Zaroff. Zaroff is bored of hunting, because he finds that it is no longer a challenge to him, and he has, thus, moved on to hunting what he considers the "most dangerous game"—human beings. Rainsford has taken up residence in a chateau on the island in order to capture sailors who have shipwrecked; he then supplies them with some basic food and supplies, gives them a three-hour head start, and sets off thereafter to hunt and kill them. This is intriguing to Zaroff because it involves hunting creatures motivated by reason—something he cannot do when pursuing animals.

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According to General Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

People are the most dangerous game, because they can think and reason. People are also dangerous because they have emotions, and can get angry and want revenge. They can think several steps ahead and set traps, and they are highly unpredictable.
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According to General Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

Zaroff, as a master hunter, had clearly become bored with the lack of challenge the natural world presented him with. Ever eager to seek new opponents, he began to consider what would present him with a real challenge. As man has the capacity to reason, he decided that "the most dangerous game" to hunt was man. Thus he created his Ship-Trap Island and meets Rainsford.

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According to General Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

General Zaroff's rationale is that the human mind relies on reason and logic as opposed to the animal mind which simply relies simply on instinct.  Therefore, this ability to think through a situation is what makes man the most dangerous game.

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According to General Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

According to General Zaroff, the most dangerous game is man.

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According to General Zaroff, what is the most dangerous game?

According to Zaroff, the most dangerous game is man. The title provides a play on words. Some, without knowledge of the story, may think that the story "The Most Dangerous Game" is an actual game played. While this is true, the most dangerous game also depicts the man Zaroff is hunting.

Game, when defined, is an activity engaged in either amusement or as a diversion, or it is an animal being hunted or taken as the result of a hunt.

"I hunt more dangerous game."- Zaroff

Zaroff goes on to describe his game (the animal as well as the activity).

"I had to invent a new animal to hunt...And the answer was, of course, "It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason."

In the end, Rainsford is the one to let readers in on Zaroff's new animal:

"But they are men," said Rainsford hotly.

Basically, Zaroff defines the most dangerous game as a man. The reason he justifies this is that only man is able of reason. For that reason, man is the most dangerous game.

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What, according to General Zaroff, is the most dangerous game?

The term "game" has a duel meaning in the story. The first meaning is as a competition between two rivals, and the second is using the term "game" as "prey," or something being hunted. The most dangerous prey, according to Zaroff, is a prey that can think, reason, and respond. This is why Zaroff hunts people- they are the most dangerous prey because of their sense of both survival and logical thinking. Because he hunts people, and because of human being's ability to react and counter-plan, Zaroff has developed a competition that is very dangerous as well. He cannot also control the outcome of the match, even though he tries, and the result is dire - death for either the hunted or the hunter.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game", what game does Zaroff consider the most dangerous?

General Zaroff is the antagonist in Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game." He is a master big-game hunter, and he lives alone on an isolated island so he can do what he wishes. 

What he wishes to do, of course, is hunt. Unfortunately, he has hunted every big-game animal that exists, and he has grown bored. He talks about all the great animals he has hunted, and then he says,

"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."

So, General Zaroff set about looking for something to hunt which would prove to be a challenge to him, would match wits with him and make hunting fun for him again. And, of course, there is only one kind of animal which meets those standards--humans. 

Now he hunts humans, though of course he gives himself every advantage, ensuring that he will always win. The most dangerous game, according to Zaroff, is man; and the most dangerous man he has ever hunted is Sanger Rainsford. 

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what are the rules of Zaroff's game?

Apart from the "huntee" having a three-hours' head start and having a knife, there aren't any. It is an unfair advantage from the start and becomes even moreso when Zaroff gets help from his giant butler Ivan and then from his dogs.

Rainsford outwits Zaroff by jumping off a cliff and swimming back to the castle before the colonel can returns with his dogs. Zaroff presumes his prey is "lost" and will die at sea; he is shocked to find Rainsford waiting for him in his own bedroom!

Rainsford knows the "game" won't be over until he has killed Zaroff simply because there are no "rules"; the deadline of three days before his giving up won't be respected, either. 

The reader understands in the closing sentence that Rainsford has not only killed Zaroff out of self defense but that he doesn't suffer from any guilt pangs. He has saved his own life and delivered others from a depraved maniac. That's why he sleeps so well that night.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what are the rules of Zaroff's game?

The rules to Zaroff's game are deceptively simple. Zaroff first suggests to his victim that they go hunting. The unlucky candidate can choose not to, but if he will not take part in the game, he is turned over to Ivan, who "has his own ideas of sport". The result is that there really is no other viable option, and the victim "invariably...choose(s) the hunt".

The chosen subject is then given a supply of food and "an excellent hunting knife". He is given three hours' head start, after which Zaroff will begin his pursuit, armed "only with a pistol of the smallest caliber and range". If the victim manages to elude the hunter "for three whole days", he wins the game, and he is given his freedom, taken by sloop back to the mainland and released near a town. If he does not elude Zaroff, he "loses", and is killed.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what are the rules of Zaroff's game?

"The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell, is set on an almost-uninhabited Caribbean island. The only dwelling on the island is a castle-like mansion which belongs to General Zaroff. He is a big-game hunter who got bored with animals and has begun to hunt humans.

Rainsford is also a big-game hunter, and Zaroff has heard of him. This is good news for Zaroff but bad news for Rainsford, as the general decides he will hunt Rainsford.

The rules Zaroff outlines for Rainsford are the same as those he sets for all of the other men (sailors and others who have been lured to the island and been shipwrecked).

"It's a game, you see," pursued the general blandly. "I suggest to one of them that we go hunting. I give him a supply of food and an excellent hunting knife. I give him three hours' start. I am to follow, armed only with a pistol of the smallest caliber and range. If my quarry eludes me for three whole days, he wins the game. If I find him"--the general smiled--"he loses."

Rainsford asks the next logical question: what if a man refuses to hunt? The answer is not something Rainsford wants to hear:

"If he does not wish to hunt, I turn him over to Ivan. Ivan once had the honor of serving as official knouter to the Great White Czar, and he has his own ideas of sport. Invariably, Mr. Rainsford, invariably they choose the hunt."

Zaroff graciously gives Rainsford "hunting clothes, food, a knife." He advises Rainsford to wear moccasins (because they leave less track) and to avoid the swamp full of quicksand. Zaroff gives Rainsford his word that he will "cheerfully acknowledge myself defeated if I do not find you by midnight of the third day," said General Zaroff. "My sloop will place you on the mainland near a town." He adds that he can be trusted, since he gives his word "as a gentleman." All Rainsford has to do is agree not to mention anything about the island once he leaves.

Those are the rules and conditions of this "most dangerous game."

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what are the rules of Zaroff's game?

Zaroff's "rules" aren't exactly that -- more like general guidelines than anything else. For instance, he tells Rainsford that he will be released with only a sheath knife, and that he will not be pursued immediately. He also says that if Rainsford survives, he becomes the winner within a single day and night. We may never know if Zaroff intended to hold up his end of the bargain by releasing Rainsford or allowing him safe passage off the island, because in the end, we may infer that Zaroff is killed by Rainsford himself inside the general's own bedroom.

It is interesting to note, however, that Zaroff does display a sense of fair game or sportsmanship at least once during the game. It is near the beginning, where he tracks Rainsford to a tree that he has climbed. The general looks up, undoubtedly sees Rainsford hiding, but then decides to double back down the trail and allow Rainsford a second chance. Such behavior indicates that Zaroff has some sense of fair play, or at the very least, was seeking a greater challenge. 

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What is Zaroff's favorite game to hunt in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Zaroff, according to himself, is a great hunter.  He admits to Rainsford that normal hunting of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my) has gotten boring.  

Hunting was beginning to bore me!

So in order to combat his hunting boredom, Zaroff invented a new prey.  A prey that could reason as well as he could.  

Every day I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have a quarry with which I can match my wits."

Rainsford's bewilderment showed in his face.

"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."

The prey that Zaroff invented is people.  Zaroff now hunts human beings.  

Zaroff stocks his hunting grounds with humans that wash up on his island.  The island is called "Ship Trap" because it has a tendency to sink ships on its shallow reef and rocks.  If Zaroff is running short on humans to hunt, he helps ships crash by turning on lights that indicate a channel toward the rocks.  

 "They indicate a channel," he said, "where there's none; giant rocks with razor edges crouch like a sea monster with wide-open jaws. They can crush a ship as easily as I crush this nut."

As for the sailors' feelings about the island, the reader is told right away in the story that sailors have a "curious dread" of the island.  That makes sense, since word would have gotten around that ships that pass too closely to the island end up sinking.  Between the rocks and Zaroff, no human ever survives the encounter with Ship Trap island.  That's why sailors are wary of the place.   

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