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

The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

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1. Imagine that Rainsford discovers Zaroff's diary and decides to add a final entry. What would it be?

2. How do laws governing the killing of animals for sport differ around the world? Compare and contrast hunting regulations on several continents. Why do you think there are so many differences?

3. Compare and contrast laws governing the killing of human beings around the world. Murder is a socially constructed idea and is understood differently by different people in different places. Discover laws that identify legalized killing—such as self-defense, euthanasia, and government execution. When is a soldier or policeman given the right to kill another human being?

4. How have ethical constraints against the killing of human beings changed over time? In what cultures have they changed the most?

5. Rainsford fought in WWI. What brought the United States into the war, and what was the experience like for the soldiers that fought it?

6. The Cossacks protected the Russian Czar during the social upheavals leading to the Russian Revolution. General Zaroff and Ivan were both Cossacks. Why might they have left Russia when they did?

7. Zaroff argued that "Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if need be, taken by the strong," to justify his killing. Explain the Darwinian theory to which this alludes. Did Zaroff misinterpret it? How did Charles Darwin arrive at his theory.

8. Richard Connell began his writing career as a newspaper reporter. Write a newspaper article based on an interview of Rainsford, reporting the entire, incredible experience from Rainsford's point of view. Use the standard newspaper "inverted pyramid" format, answering the questions who, what, when, where, and why in the first sentence of the story.

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