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Zaroff is our basic refined but amoral Cossack. He is a great antagonist to Rainsford because he makes Rainsford question everything he believed in (as expressed to Whitney on the boat before he fell off). It’s too bad Rainsford doesn’t really pick up on the lessons or really reflect on them. Zaroff is unapologetically savage, but hides that brutality with his whole song and dance about civilization and champagne.