People Arent Always What They Seem. a Comparison Essay Between "Child by Tiger" by Thomas Wolfe and "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell

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People Aren't Always What They Seem
A Comparative Essay

When I read the short stories "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell and "Child by Tiger" by Thomas Wolfe for this essay, I thought they had very little in common. Connell's story takes place much earlier (my guess would be around 1900), and is set on an exotic island, while Wolfe's story seems to take place around the 1920's and is set in rural America. Also, while it's true that both include a manhunt, complete with bloodhounds, the motivations for the hunt couldn't be more different. In "The Most Dangerous Game", the antagonist, General Zaroff, resorts to hunting human beings out of boredom. He says to Rainsford (the protagonist), " Hunting tigers ceased to interest me some years ago. I exhausted their possibilities …No thrill left in tigers, no real danger. I live for danger…"(Par.79) He becomes too proficient at game hunting, taking the excitement that he literally lives for away from him. In contrast, the motivation for the manhunt in Wolfe's story is to stop a man who is walking around killing people and revenge-some might say justice-for the lives he took. One thing that I find in common between the stories is the racism. For example, when General Zaroff is trying to convince Rainsford to hunt people with him he tells him " I hunt the scum of the earth—sailors from tramp ships—lascars (Indian sailors), blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels—a thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them."(Par.119) He clearly uses the race and/or occupation of these people to excuse his lack of value for their lives, placing their worth beneath that of fine horses and dogs. The racism in Wolfe's story is not quite so simple. The word "nigger" is sprinkled liberally throughout the story. It is used, as is the word Negro, as a label to separate the black people in the story from the white (the white people are called by their names and...
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