When it comes to fear, Rainsford’s character undergoes a pretty dramatic transformation in a short amount of time. He begins by basically dismissing the possibility that animals have the capacity to feel fear when they are hunted. Then he experiences some deep psychological fears himself, quickly realizing that “he had new things to learn about fear.” (2.22) We know that he is prepared to face his fears by the simple fact that he shows up in Zaroff’s bedroom in the end. But wait a second. Rainsford overcomes his fears by killing another human being—something he had earlier identified as “cold-blooded murder” (1.116). What gives?
By the end of the story, Rainsford is fearless.
Fear is clearly part of the thrill of the hunt, so there’s no way Zaroff is totally fearless.