H English 9B, Period 1
18 January 2013
The Hunter and The Hunted
Hunting is an often argued subject throughout cultures all over the globe. In “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, hunting is questioned using an ironic situations and a relationship between two exaggerated characters, Rainsford and General Zaroff, who are at first both presented as hunters, but as the story progresses, Rainsford becomes the hunted. Connell presents ironic situations and symbolized characters, during the hunt, to emphasize the blurred difference between hunter and hunted, showing that the immolation of another life has no moral distinction whether man or animal. Connell presents the story, using extremely ironic situations and characters. While Rainsford is being introduced, he tells his co-hunter that “that world is made up of two classes- the hunters and the huntees” (20). Irony is presented because, although he is prideful of being the hunter, Rainsford soon becomes the huntee. Later, when Rainsford realizes General Zaroff’s confession of hunting human beings, he doubts him “Hunting? General Zaroff, you speak of murder” (27). Rainsford is being hypocritical. To murder is to kill intentionally and by hunting, Rainsford murders animals as a hobby. Not only are these characters expressed with irony, but symbolism as well. Connell uses the General to symbolize an exaggerated version of Rainsford, and to warn or foreshadow of what Rainsford could become. During their meeting, Zaroff assures Rainsford that hunting isn’t murder “Should I not be serious? I speak of hunting.” (27). This relates to Rainsford’s idea that hunting animals is not wrong and is not thought of a murder. General Zaroff is simply an exaggerated version of that, he feels that hunting humans is not wrong and is not thought of as murder. Also, during the conclusion of their relationship, Rainsford announces that he is “still a beast at bay” (36), preparing Zaroff for his death....
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