The Most Dangerous Game
by Richard Connell
The Most Dangerous Game Theme of Competition
“The Most Dangerous Game” doesn’t send you scrambling to diagram its complex plot. But don’t be fooled. This is a story about hunting, but there is more to this struggle than meets the eye. It’s not just about being the strongest and fastest. What Connell gives us is not just a harsh lesson for two arrogant hunters, but also a story that looks at competition from an ethical perspective. Think about what these men have to say about civilization—and whether they show compassion for anyone, or anything.
Questions About Competition
- Is the competition between Rainsford and Zaroff fair?
- Do Rainsford and/or Zaroff even consider hunting to be competition?
- Are hunters competing against their previous accomplishments or against the animals themselves?
- Why does Zaroff crave the hunt so badly?
Chew on This
Zaroff was raised in an aristocratic environment, which may have led to his desire to hunt people lesser than him, as he sees them.
Rainsford and Zaroff have very different ideas of what hunting means. They are at opposite ends of the ethical spectrum.