1. The character of General Zaroff is portrayed through both direct and indirect characterization. The author uses direct characterization when describing his personality and appearance through Rainsford’s eyes. He uses indirect characterization when describing Zaroff through the conversation between the general and Rainsford. Throughout the dialogue, the author gives hints and evidence pointing to certain personality traits displayed by General Zaroff. The evidence that Zaroff believes he is superior to all animals, including humans, can be found in his conversation with Rainsford where he states that he has conquered all massive beasts, animals are no longer a match for him, and he is stronger than the others. The general constantly boasts about his success in hunting and his skill set.
2. The hunter has a major advantage in the game being played. First, the hunter is one his own territory. Therefore, he is more knowledgeable of the land he is hunting on. Second, the hunter has more advanced weapons. While the prey is only armed with a hunting knife, the hunter has a pistol. The pistol is more effective than the knife when killing. Third, the hunter not only relies on himself and his skills, but also has dogs and an accomplice, Ivan, to help him catch his prey when he is not successful on his own. Fourth, the hunter has been playing this wicked game for much longer and is an avid hunter. Therefore, his skill set is much more varied and advanced than that of a sailor that crashes on the island.
3. As the story progresses, Rainsford’s ideas of hunting change. At the beginning, he is very invested in the sport and believes there is nothing wrong with what he is doing. He simply feels lucky to be the hunter and not the prey. As the stakes get higher and he is faced with a different challenge, he begins to realize that hunting, as enjoyable as it might be for him, is not exactly a good experience for his prey. When he is put in the situation of being Zaroff’s prey, he begins to understand the suffering and worry the animals he kills feel. Rainsford then feels some more sympathy and changes his view on hunting.
4. In these conversations, Rainsford is more like Zaroff because they look at the world in a very similar way. They both believe the strongest will prevail and they feel no sympathy for their prey. They simply hunt for their own entertainment without ever considering how they would feel is the roles were reversed. He differs from Zaroff because he is not as cold blooded and eager to find danger. He thinks the murder of another man is outrageous and completely wrong. At the end of the story, Rainsford becomes a little more like Whitney in the way that he now understands the suffering and pain these animals undergo and he is more considerate.
5. I would consider “The Most Dangerous Game” to be commercial fiction because the plot moves along very quickly and there are many dangerous, risky situations. Although it does contain some characterization, it is more focused on the conflict at hand and the events occurring through the story. The plot is much more intense and the theme is quite complex.
6. General Zaroff might be putting a value on Rainsford during dinner because he is going to become his prey soon. He wants to know what he is going up against and if he wins, how great his success is.
7. The location plays a huge role in the theme of this story. The island is alone in the middle of the ocean adding to the theme of suspense and solitude. There is a constant dark theme of being alone and in danger.
8. The irony of the statement “Who cares what a jaguar feels?” is that when Rainsford is put in the same position, he wants his feelings to be taken into consideration. At the end of the story, Rainsford might feel differently because he suffered what those animals have undergone and he understands and is considerate.
9. The figurative literary devices used in the beginning of the story set the ominous and frightening mood. They also foreshadow danger and events that are yet to come. These devices also point to an underlying issue discussed in this story, animal cruelty.
10. Rainsford’s past experiences helped him elude Zaroff because he had a very advanced knowledge and skill set due to his years of hunting. He was able to create a complicated trail
that would be difficult to follow. He also created successful and efficient traps.