The Most Dangerous Game
How we cite our quotes:
"Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder." (1.114)
So Rainsford values human life and sees Zaroff’s game as unthinkable. How do you reconcile his assertion here with what he does at the story’s end?
"I refuse to believe that so modern and civilized a young man as you seem to be harbors romantic ideas about the value of human life. Surely your experiences in the war—" (1.115)
Why does Zaroff consider Rainsford a romantic? Remember, Rainsford sees himself as a “realist.” Should the war have taught him that human beings aren’t worth a lick? Isn’t it possible to make the opposite argument after one has seen all the carnage of war?
“If I wish to hunt, why should I not? I hunt the scum of the earth: sailors from tramp ships--lassars, blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels--a thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them." (1.121)
Confused? Well, it seems that he prefers hunting humans because they can reason. But he only wants to hunt low class humans because then he doesn’t have to care about killing them. On top of that, animals are worth more than these people. So does he hunt people because they are better or worse than animals?