The Most Dangerous Game: Zaroff Analysis

Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game” contains a charming but mysterious character named General Zaroff. Zaroff’s actions and choice of words can range from being completely thoughtful to inexplicably strange. Although General Zaroff at first glance seems to be a civilized, well-educated man, he discreetly hides a mind filled with savage acts and horrifying ideals.

General Zaroff views human beings as low lives. This can first be supported when the General keeps “specimens” (Connell 28) from San Lucar in his cellar so he can hunt them later on. Imagine what the “specimens” (Connell 28) go through as they slowly await their depressing deaths.

No one in their right mind would keep people as prisoners and intentionally want to kill them later on without feeling remorse. Also, Zaroff is not the least sad when his partner Ivan dies (Connell 36). When Ivan who was always at Zaroff’s side passes on, the reader would expect that Zaroff would atleast show grief, not abnormally brushing the death aside. A quick prayer or burial for Ivan would not hurt anyone. When speaking with Rainsford regarding why he chooses to hunt humans, he responds: “I hunt the scum of the earth.

Sailors from tramp ships, lascars, blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels. A thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them” (Connell 27). This quote straightforwardly tells the reader that Zaroff basically views mankind lower than hounds and horses. Even going to the point where he addresses them as “scum” (Connell 27). These details are reminders to readers of what Zaroff thinks of humans. In addition, looks can be deceiving. For instance, General Zaroff is a tall man with “vivid white hair”, black military mustache, “high cheekbones”, and a “face built for giving orders” (Connell 23).

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Who would ever think that a man like that would be the most misleading character readers would encounter? They would expect tha…