Sanger Rainsford Character Analysis

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In Richard Connell's short story"The Most Dangerous Game," the protagonist Sanger Rainsford is selfish, unsympathetic, and cruel. In the beginning, Rainsford talks to Whitney about the prey’s, in this case, the animal's perspective while being hunted, like how they feel. Rainsford and Whitney butt heads. Rainsford’s philosophy is much like Zaroff's. Rainsford disagrees with Whitney, who believes that animals can comprehend the fear of pain and death. Rainford exposes his selfishness and lack of empathy by saying, “‘Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes-the hunters and the huntees. Luckily you and I are hunters’”(2). His actions throughout the story show his cruelty too. Rainsfords profession is killing animals, and while he does…show more content…
However, it does not change for the better. In the middle of the story when he finds out Zaroff hunts fellow human beings, to Zaroff's surprise, Rainsford’s thought and reaction is utter shock and disbelief. “‘But you can’t mean-’ gasped Rainsford. ‘And why not?’”(10). Zaroff knowing Rainsford was a great hunter he hoped that Rainsford would accompany him on a hunt; however, Rainsford accuses him of being a cold-blooded killer. Although, now it seems that Rainsford has adopted General Zaroff's cold attitude toward killing humans, so if Rainsford has changed, it was not to a better person but to a worse. From first no sympathy for animals to no sympathy for men. One way it seems that way is he kills Ivan with no pang of guilt. Some might say that's not murder that's just self-defense. But if that's the case then why does Rainsford after claiming victory and safety from death go to Zaroff's room at night and kills him. “‘You have won the game.’ Rainsford did not smile. ‘I am still a beast at bay…’Get ready General Zaroff’” (20) He doesn’t kill Zaroff for any reason other than revenge. By beast at bay Rainsford is saying he doesn’t have anywhere to go, so he wants to fight Zaroff, until someone dies which is ironic because Rainsford states that he is against killing another human being when he first meets Zaroff at the beginning of the story. However, he is now ready to fight to the death, which shows that his opinion has changed. That just makes him no better than Zaroff “the murderer”. It seems as if Zaroff has passed on his role to Rainsford and he is now the new Zaroff. How else can he sleep so well if he feels remorse over killing a fellow human? Zaroff told him he could leave the island if he won but he stays. Rainsford changes for the worse from a hunter to a murder following in Zaroff's
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