Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game Essay Example

Throughout one's life, someone's view on something can change due to others affecting it. In the 'Most Dangerous Game' by Richard Connell, we see Rainsford's attitude change quite a bit from beginning to start. Rainsford could be described as a dynamic character or in other words a character that will change throughout the story. At the beginning of the story, Rainsford is inconsiderate of what he hunts, towards the end of the story he learns what it is like to be hunted, and all of this leads the author to reveal that you must think about what it is like to be in someone else's shoes.

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford is inconsiderate because he does not know what it is like to be in the animal's shoes. One great of this example is a piece of dialogue from the story.

Some Dialogue Parts

"'Don't talk rot, Whitney,' said Rainsford….' 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" (Connell). When he tells Whitney to not talk rot, he is saying that he shouldn't talk nonsense. Whitney may not think he is talking rot, but because Rainsford is inconsiderate of other things, he thinks that what Whitney is saying is wrong. Rainsford does not care about how the jaguar feels because it does not affect him and says that they have no understanding but Whitney kind of talks some sense into him. Whitney tries to show Rainsford a different point of view but he does not care because he is so inconsiderate. Right after Rainsford says 'nonsense' he continues to say, "'This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunter and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters…'" 

The Idea of Being Hunted

Rainsford has somewhat of an idea about what it feels like to be hunted, but he still thinks that he is better. The world is not made up of two classes, and even if it was those classes are certainly not the hunter and the huntees. That would mean putting humans on top because we hunt and kill animals for food when technically animals that are omnivores or carnivores do the same things. When we see animals kill other animals we feel sorry for the animals or think that they are just doing it for fun. Humans are not the only one who 'hunt' animals for fun. Take a look at an orca's behavior, yes it beaches itself to eat baby seal lions but it also will pass an animal back and forth like you have to keep it up in the water. We chase around animals for fun and even take it two steps farther by killing the animals and hanging it up like it's some sort of prize.

Realizing Hunting

In the end, Rainsford learns what it is like to be hunted and what it is like to be in someone else's shoes for a while. The author introduces a new character, General Zaroff, and this is who sparked the idea of being the huntee when General Zaroff says, "'Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give strong pleasure. I am strong. Why should I not use my gift? If I wish to hunt, why should I not? I hunt the scum of the earth: sailors from tramp ships--lassars, blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels--a thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them,' (Connell).

Rainsford is infuriated by Zaroff because he hunts and murders men but he will eventually realize that he is doing the same thing to animals. General Zaroff hunts humans the same way that Rainsford hunts animals because he got bored of animals. He needed something that would fear him and be smarter than an animal. Rainsford has most likely hunted every animal in his life except for humans and being hunted. Zaroff treats him nicely but when Rainsford offers for him to go hunting, for humans, he declines and become the huntee.

Rainsford denies the offer because he is beginning to realize what animals feel like when they are hunted. Another example of him learning what it is like to be hunted is, "They would be on him any minute now. His mind worked frantically…" (Connell). If a predator is being hunted when they are not usually prey, they will get confused and worked up because they don't know what to do. As the story said, 'His mind worked frantically…", he does not know what to do either because he has never been in those shoes before. Rainsford is the predator that has to relearn his way of acting because he is no longer the predator, he became the prey. 


This entire short story is a lesson for Rainsford, for him to learn what it is like to be hunted, and he learns this at the end of the story because he experiences what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. In the beginning, Rainsford was inconsiderate until towards the end of the story he is hunted by General Zaroff. Be hunted by General Zaroff taught Rainsford to look at different people's points of view and to not assume what it's like to be in someone else's shoes.



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