Topics for Discussion
1. How did Rainsford's character change in the course of the story?
2. What is the relationship between the hunter and the hunted? Is hunting animals morally right?
3. Is it ever morally right to kill another human being? How is killing in a war different from what Zaroff did?
4. Does exposure to violence and killing make people less sensitive to those things and more likely to be violent or to kill?
5. Would sending a man like Zaroff to prison for murder change his moral attitude toward killing? How should murderers be punished?
6. Instead of returning to kill Zaroff, what other options did Rainsford have?
7. Could this sort of thing actually happen? What part of the world do you think a real-life Zaroff would choose for his "hunting lodge?" Why would he choose that location?
8. How is this story related to the animal rights movement? How might an animal rights organization use this story to support its cause?
9. How is this story related to the death penalty and legal abortion? What are the arguments for and against the institutionally sanctioned killing of human beings?
10. How is this story related to gun control legislation? What side do you believe Richard Connell would support? Why do you think that?