This paper will analyze the short story called The Most Dangerous Game by discussing the four main elements of a short story which are, setting, character, conflict, and theme.
The story involves two main characters, Rainsford and General Zaroff. Rainsford is a celebrated hunter, who enjoys hunting animals. He does not believe that hunting animals is wrong until he meets a certain General Zaroff. General Zaroff, is also a man that loves to hunt, but over the years has grown dull with it. His constant pursuit for bigger and smarter game has come to an end.
General Zaroff is devastated because of this, and especially after growing up his whole life with rifle in hand and the target in his sights. He decides to take his hunting to a higher level, the hunt for human life, Rainsfords life!This story takes place in the Caribbean, on a secluded island. The author chose an ideal place for his setting. The story consists of a war between the two main characters, and what better place then an island which has such excellent geographical features to support this struggle. Some examples are the dense trees, trails, and some quicksand.
This setting also makes the two characters display all the skills and tricks they have learned over the years, and then wage war against each other. The setting plays a sufficient role in the storys overall development. Without this setting the story would not reveal the game of cat and mouse which is going on. The setting holds the bulk of the action in it, the story has characters hiding in trees, falling in quicksand, and by being led into traps.
Not using this setting in the story would make the story miss out on its excitement and suspense. The next few paragraphs will introduce the characters and will provide a psychological profile of them. Some observations will also be made on the relative importance of the element of character in the storys development. Beginning with the characters which play a lesser role in the story. Whitney is a man who does not believe in hunting and killing animals, he believes that animals understand that there being hunted down and killed. Whitneys main importance in the story is that the author uses him as a tool, to help us understand the personality and beliefs Rainsford has.
Rainsford is the central character in the story. Rainsford on the other hand, does not have the same beliefs that Whitney has. He loves hunting so much that he does not stop to think whether or not the animals have any feelings or emotions. Bluntly he does not care if the animals feel anything. Rainsford philosophy is that world is made up of two classes -the hunters and the huntees.
Rainsford has never felt what it is like to be hunted, because he has always been the predator. That is sure to change as the story unfolds and takes a classic twist, where in this case the hunter Rainsford becomes the hunted. Rainsford also proves to be a developing character in the story. Rainsford does this by stating in the latter part of the story that he now understands how the animals feel when they are being hunted. The character General Zaroff is a very complex character, because he has two sides to himself.
One side portrays a well educated, polite, hospitable man. On the other side General Zaroff portrays a very cunning cold blooded killer. Killer in the sense that he hunts humans for pleasure, and does not feel any remorse for them. Which is the result, as mentioned before, of his boredom towards hunting just animals.
General Zaroff has the same views as Whitney, in the sense that humans and animals are equal. The difference being, General Zaroff believes killing an animal is the same as killing a man. The character Ivan, known as General Zaroffs servant, does not play a big part in the story. However, we know Ivan is General Zaroffs right-hand man.
Ivan is considered a savage in the story, which would make it easy for someone like General Zaroff to control. Although, Ivan should be considered a main .