A Unique Portrait Of Society In Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game

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Civilized: A Unique Portrait of Society One of the denotations of the word ‘civilized’ is written as, “educated; at an advanced stage of cultural development; refined.” Given this word choice, many individuals would argue on what it truly means to be defined as civilized, and if such people can also be inhumane. In Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, the true meaning of the word is questioned by the main antagonist, whose actions argue that, depending on certain aspects and one’s own judgement, a civilized man may also be barbaric. The two are in the middle of a feast when Zaroff apologizes for the food, explaining that as they are, “well off the beaten track” it is difficult to receive delicious delicacies, despite what they’re eating at the moment to be of refined taste and skill. In explanation as to why he has such luxury far out in the middle of nowhere, Zaroff answers with, “We try…show more content…
Serving in the army was not uncommon at the time, and murdering men was just a part of the job. To Zaroff, gunning down people isn’t anything new. To him, his actions aren’t wrong. Even later, once it is revealed what Zaroff does, he laughs it off. While Rainsford sits stunned, still processing what has been said and trying to argue against it, Zaroff talks about how he can’t believe that a man as “modern and civilized” like Rainsford could ever have “romantic ideas about the value of human life.” Both men have fought in wars; both men have hunted, and have experienced the difference between killing a man and killing an animal. One man found both to be enjoyable, while the other did not. Their experiences and ideas greatly differ from each other, so while Zaroff believes himself to be correct in his actions and completely civilized and just, Rainsford is disgusted with the very idea. Therefore, the true definition of what it means to be civilized is to be decided by the individual and, going word for word by the
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