The Most Dangerous Game

QUESTIONS: Answer the following questions. /32

1. What is meant by “He lived a year in a minute”? /2
- Rainsford's senses are heightened and he takes in everything around him all at once because his fear makes every minute seem to pass as slowly as a year.
- This statement reminds me of the saying "life flashes before your eyes" prior to your imminent death. Rainsford experiences something similar to this because he is in a bizarre, surreal situation where his life is in jeopardy and he is forced to participate in Zaroff's hunt.

2. What is meant by “I am still a beast at bay”? /2
-When the hunt starts, Rainsford has become a hunted animal in the "fight or flight response" and he is attempting to flee from the predator.
- By the end of the story, Rainsford is no longer fleeing and intends to fight till the end in order to "win the game."
-Man is the most dangerous animal and Rainsford will need to drop all civility and go back to his animal instincts in order to survive.

3. In which sea has Connell set Ship-Trap island? /1
-The Caribbean Sea.

  1. How is Zaroff able to finance his life style? /2
    -Zaroff's father owned a large amount of land which suggests he is from a wealthy family.
    -He is an accomplished military man.
    -He invested heavily in American securities which prevented him from losing everything after the debacle in Russia.

  1. If Rainsford wins the hunt, what does Zaroff promise him? /1
    -He promises that he will send him on a boat back to the mainland (as long as he says nothing of what transpired on the island.)

  1. What happened to Lazarus? /2 -He followed one of the men Zaroff was hunting into Death Swamp.
    -He was trapped in quicksand and died.

  1. Where does Rainsford spend the first night of his hunt? /1
    -He spent the first night in a tree.

  1. How many acres did Zaroff’s father have in the Crimea? /1
    - A quarter of a million acres.

  1. Why does Zarroff suggest Rainsford wear moccasins? /1
    -Moccasins leave a poorer trail.

  1. What caused Rainsford to believe Zaroff knew he was hiding in the tree? Do you think he was right? Give reasons. /3
    Rainsford believed that Zaroff knew he was hiding in the tree because of his behaviour. I think he was right because Zaroff smiles, deliberately blows a smoke ring and carelessly walks away. All of these actions suggest that he knows where Rainsford is, but purposefully leaves him because he wants to prolong the hunt.

  1. How does Zaroff stock his island with “game”? /2
    -Zaroff waits until a vicious storm throws a ship onto the island.
    -He causes ships to crash into the island by falsely indicating a channel which leads them into the rocks.

  1. What happened to General Zaroff at the end of the story? /2
    At the end of the story, General Zaroff is caught off guard by Rainsford appearing in his room. It is inferred that the two men engage in a fight to the death which ends in Zaroff losing.

  1. Inspite of being hurt, Zaroff congratulates Rainsford on his “Malay mancatcher,” why? /2
    - Zaroff likes the challenge of an opponent he views as “equal.”
    -He is pleased that Rainsford is giving him problems to confront, something to match his wits with.

  1. How do we know Rainsford is an exceptionally fit man? /2
    -Rainsford spent hours running through the jungle and still managed to climb a tree with nothing but his own strength.
    -He swam all the way back to General Zaroff's home where he found his way in.

  1. Discuss the state of mind of Rainsford before he lands on the island versus that after he meets the General. What is different? (Especially about how he perceives animal feelings.)/5
    At the beginning of the story, Rainsford believes that the world is made up of two classes, the hunters and the huntees. He believes that animals are completely dumb and have no feeling whatsoever. After he meets the General and he is put in the position of the prey his views completely shift. Rainsford learns that animals being hunted do have feelings and feel fear. He also learns that humans are just as much animals as every other creature.

  1. How does Connell inspire fear without obvious bloodshed/grotesqueness. /3
    Connell inspires fear without obvious bloodshed or grotesqueness by creating suspense in the way he uses language. He creates it in the way he describes the impenetrable darkness, the mystery and superstition surrounding the island, and most especially in the way he describes the moment where Rainsford realizes that the General has easily found him, but is saving him for another day's sport. There are many passages throughout the story that make you feel as though you are in Rainsford's situation because the author puts you into Rainsford's head and makes you feel the part of the prey.

Short Stories - Literary DevisesTitle: The Most Dangerous Game

Point of View: 3rd person

Protagonist: Sanger Rainsford

What type of character is the Protagonist? Mr. Rainsford is a round and dynamic character.

Antagonist: General Zaroff

Describe the setting: The story takes place on an island in the Caribbean Sea. The island is known as Ship-Trap Island, has an evil reputation and is surrounded by superstition. The water is very warm, the nights are pitch black and the island is covered in dense jungle. On the island, General Zaroff has a massive house which has pointed towers that plunge upward. The house is on a high bluff, and on three sides of it cliffs dive down to the sea. The mood of the story is frightened, tense and suspenseful. The time period of the story is not completely clear, but it takes place over a period of a few days.

Type of Conflict: Man vs. Man

Describe the main conflict: The main conflict of the story is General Zaroff hunting Rainsford, a human being, as if he were prey.

Describe the Climax of the Story: The climax of the story is when Rainsford appears in General Zaroff's room taking him by surprise and Rainsford states that he is "still a beast at bay."

How does the Protagonist change over the course of the story?

At the beginning of the story Rainsford believed that the world was made up of two classes, the hunters and the huntees. He gave no consideration to the animals he hunted and simply believed they had no thought or feeling. After he arrives on the island where General Zaroff hunts people and Rainsford himself becomes the prey, his whole view changes. He realizes that a animals do feel, and when hunted they feel fear. Rainsford also learns that human beings are just as much animals as all other creatures and we can be reduced to our base animal instincts in order to survive.

Describe the relationship between the title and the theme.

The theme of this story is the hunter becoming the prey. The title "The Most Dangerous Game" refers to the game of hunting as a sport and it also refers to human beings as prey because we are the the most dangerous game. The relationship between the title and the theme is that we as human beings are usually the hunter and in the story, humans become the prey. General Zaroff wants a kind of prey that can match his wits so he uses human beings as game. He wants to hunt Rainsford because he views him as a fellow hunter, an equal that will present an entertaining challenge. That is how Rainsford, the hunter, becomes the prey.

How does the main conflict help to illustrate the theme?

The main conflict is General Zaroff hunting Rainsford as prey. This illustrates the theme of the hunter becoming the hunted because that is exactly what happens in the story. Rainsford, a hunter himself, is hunted by General Zaroff and put into the position of the prey.

How does the climax help to illustrate the theme?

The climax helps to illustrate the theme because the tables are turned again when Rainsford catches General Zaroff by surprise in his room. General Zaroff, who had been the hunter and Rainsford the prey, became hunted by his own quarry.

Give examples of each of the following literary terms in the story (use quotes):

Simile: "moonless Caribbean night. . . It's like moist black velvet," compares a moonless Caribbean night to moist black velvet. “The sea was as flat as a plate-glass window,” compares the flatness of the sea to that of a plate-glass window. “An apprehensive night crawled slowly by like a wounded snake,” compares the night to a wounded snake.

Metaphor: “blood-warm waters of the Caribbean sea,” compares the warmth of the water to the warmth of blood. “The lights of the yacht became faint and ever vanishing fireflies,” compares the lights of the yacht to fireflies. “largest man. . . a gigantic creature,” compares Ivan to a creature. “In a picture with a frame of water,” compares the island to a picture.

Personification: "thick warm blackness," because blackness cannot be thick or warm. “muttering and growling of the sea,” because the sea cannot mutter or growl. “sea licked greedy lips,” because the sea cannot lick and it does not have lips. “An apprehensive night crawled slowly by like a wounded snake,” because night cannot be apprehensive, nor can it crawl.

Symbol: The Cape buffalo head is a symbol of General Zaroff's prowess, his skill as a hunter because it is one of the largest and most dangerous of big game.

Foreshadowing (give both elements): "I've always thought," said Rainsford, "that the Cape buffalo is the most dangerous of all big game." For a moment the general did not reply; he was smiling his curious red-lipped smile. Then he said slowly: "No. You are wrong, sir. The Cape buffalo is not the most dangerous big game." He sipped his wine. "Here in my preserve on this island," he said in the same slow tone "I hunt more dangerous game." This passage foreshadows that the type of prey is humans.

Irony: Rainsford, the hunter, becoming the hunted after arriving on the island. General Zaroff stating that they "try to be civilized" on the island, but he hunts other human beings which is completely uncivilized.

Imagery: "The dining room to which Ivan conducted him was in many ways remarkable. There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal times with its oaken panels, its high ceiling , its vast refectory table where twoscore men could sit down to eat. About the hall were the mounted heads of many animals - lions, tigers, elephants, moose, bears; larger or more perfect specimens Rainsford had never seen."

Describe the relationships between the class theme and the story.

The story "The Most Dangerous Game" is related to the class theme of humanity because it highlights some of the many aspects of human nature (mostly negative aspects) and makes us question what humanity is and what it means to be human. The theme of the story shows how we are the only creature alive that kills its own kind for no reason. It also shows how we can seriously undervalue human life. In the story, General Zaroff saying "life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if need be, taken by the strong" shows a false sense of superiority and that he does not value the lives of other human beings. We as a species tend to have a false sense of superiority over other animals and even over other human beings. Other aspects of humanity shown in the story are fear, selfishness and the fact that humans are animals as well and can be reduced to our animal instincts in order to survive. This how the story "The Most Dangerous Game" relates to the class theme.

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