A Matter of Right and Wrong: An Essay on Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game"
In Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," General Zaroff states his believe that he is doing nothing wrong by hunting men. He claims that he is a true huntsman and that he believes his behavior is acceptable. However, his actions suggest that he is well aware that his behavior is unacceptable and would be deemed inappropriate by society. Indeed, there are several instances throughout the story that clearly indicate this awareness, including the fact that he isolates himself from the rest of the world and the fact that he makes sure that no one has the ability to share his island secrets.
In Zaroff's first conversation with Sanger Rainsfield regarding his new "animal," Zaroff states that he bought an island that is "perfect for [his] purposes" (Connell 26). He goes on to state that there are "jungles with a maze of traits" that are apparently conducive to hunting, but what also seems evident is that by owning the island he is, by his own admission, "far off the beaten track" and far removed from prying eyes and government control. Why does he not just stay home and hunt men on the city streets or chase them around the Capitol building. Why can he not just go and hunt his men where everyone else goes to hunt. Going to his deserted island is a clear indication that he knows he has something to hide.
A second indication that Zaroff knows his behavior is wrong is that his opponents cannot leave the island. They have no real choice but to play the game, as the alternative seems to be much worse, which means they have no ability to come and go as they please. Zaroff informs Rainsford that he gives the unfortunate men who land on his island the choice not play his game, but he adds that if anyone chooses not to play, he turns "him over to Ivan" (28-29). Dealing with Ivan as an alternative provokes the men to agree to hunt instead. With this knowledge, it seems quite evident that Zaroff has no intention of letting anyone survive and share the secrets of his island.
The strongest piece of evidence that proves Zaroff is aware that his behavior is unacceptable stems from his conversation with Rainsford before their game begins. Rainsford asks what would happen should he win the game. Zaroff informs him that he would expect complete silence from Rainsford when he returns to civilization. When Rainsford tells him he would not be quiet, Zaroff states "in that case--But why discuss that now" (31)? Zaroff stops short of stating the actual consequences, but he seems to be implying that he cannot allow Rainsford to leave. This proves that he knows it would not be to his benefit to have his secrets revealed.
In conclusion, the aforementioned key pieces of evidence prove that, contrary to what Zaroff says, he is quite aware that his behavior is unacceptable. He goes out of his way to hide his hunting practices by purchasing an island that he uses to isolate himself from the rest of the world, thereby making it impossible for others to see what he is doing. Further, Zaroff makes sure that no one ever lives to tell what he does when he hunts. Any one of these factors seems to be proof enough that General Zaroff knows he has secrets to keep, and, certainly, all of these factors together prove that he knows what he is doing is wrong. To know more, you can also visit buying that online
Connell, Richard. Literature. "The Most Dangerous Game." Prentice Hall Literature. Edgewood: Prentice Hall, 1989. 13-32