Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" is a very
exciting story of a manhunt. This story made me think about the morality of hunting: Humans are the cleverest creatures on earth, but does it give them a license to kill the other animals and even human beings weaker than themselves? I give below a short summary of the story to set the scene and then I will explore the ethics involved in hunting as a sport.
"The Most Dangerous Game" presents the story of a hunter, General Zaroff, who finds hunting human beings as the most dangerous and fascinating sport. He likes hunting humans because human beings, unlike the other animals, can reason better and so provide a richer thrill for the hunter. He does not think hunting human beings is an immoral act because he believes in the theory of might is right and that the strong have the right to kill the weak. However in the story General Zaroff fails to hunt down Rainsford, who had the ill fortune to accidentally slip overboard a yacht and swim to the shore, seek shelter in the General's chateau in the midst of a jungle, and become General Zaroff's quarry for three days. Nevertheless, Rainsford, who believes it is immoral to hunt human beings, was clever and desperate--he gave General Zaroff the slip in the manhunt and killed the General. So The hunter who craved to pit his wits against the victim's wits for the Sake of excitement met his end. In my opinion Rainsford, who was also a great hunter, learnt the valuable lesson that it is cruel and immoral to hunt innocent animals for the sake of mere excitement and that hunting is not the best, as he formerly believed, but the worst sport in the world. He knew full well what it meant to feel the fear of pain and the fear of death.
General Zaroff believed in the law of the jungle, that is,
Might is right. So he felt there was nothing wrong in killing animals and even low-bred or weak human beings for excitement. According to him, the earth belonged to the...
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