General Zaroff’s An Unrealistic Character
On the surface General Zaroff’s character seems very realistic; a highly decorated military man with wealth, refinement, and a taste for high end goods. However, below the surface Richard Connell’s depiction of General Zaroff is unrealistic. In the story “The Most Dangerous Game” Connell portrays the General as a savage who devalues human life. The General has lost touch with reality as a whole because he has rationalized his hunting of humans.
The General first appears to Rainsford very much like a real person in that he offers hospitality and good conversation. It is during their conversation that the General’s true self comes to the surface. He does not refer to himself as a person but as a “Hunter”. The fact that he refers to humans as “animals” and that he believes “life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and if need be, taken by the strong” makes his character unrealistic in today’s society (Connell 115). The hunter within the General has taken over his life in that he does not see humans, but prey. Realistically murderers and mentally disturbed people do exists in society, but it is unrealistic for a person to be so eccentric that they have devised a system of gathering the outcast of the world on their own private island to hunt for their personal amusement. I would have to hope that in today’s society a character similar to General Zaroff did not exists therefore he would be unrealistic.
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