Comparison and Contrast (Most Dangerous Game)

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Most people would never believe that an island inhabited by a human-hunting gentleman would ever exist in real life. That kind of setting comes alive in Richard Connell’s short story, "The Most Dangerous Game". The protagonist in this short story is Rainsford, a land-locked sailor who must fight using his wits to survive. He is also recognized for his ingenious hunting skills and knowledge. He ends up trapped on an island and is hunted by Zaroff. Zaroff, the antagonist, is a cunning gentleman who hides his true colors under a mask of pure courtesy. He is seen as an expert hunter who has hunted practically every animal known to man. Because of this, he has grown bored of it and wants to find a more challenging species, so he results to hunting men. Rainsford and Zaroff have various character traits that are similar and different. They both share mannerisms and have their own alterations from each other.

Rainsford and Zaroff have a couple of similar traits, especially when it comes to playing the game of hunting. Both of these characters are expert hunters. Rainsford has hunted many animals and knows skillful tactics on evading them. He uses them by creating a trap and jumping in the ocean to avoid Zaroff's rabid hounds (Connell 33-34). Zaroff has hunted practically every threatening animal and wants to move on to a more challenging species. He admits to this claim, saying, "No animal had a chance with me anymore," (24). Both Rainsford and Zaroff are very competitive. Rainsford refuses to give up and will not lose his level head. He keeps calm and doesn't give in to fear when Zaroff is hunting him and almost spots him. Rainsford continually repeats to himself, "I will not lose my nerve. I will not," (31). Zaroff loves to win and shows it when he smiles and says, “To date I have not lost,” (28). Both men are clever and can judge a person’s strengths and weaknesses. Rainsford can tell that Zaroff has the upper hand when he’s being hunted and does his best to avoid...
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