Sanger Rainsford In Richard Conell's The Most Dangerous Game

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Although emotions are created by the human psychological mind, fear is unarguably more than a mental state of mind; it becomes physical. Richard Conell’s, “The Most Dangerous Game”, is infused with the recurring themes of violence and fear. The protagonist, Sanger Rainsford, is being hunted by General Zaroff, the short story’s antagonist. From the beginning of the story, until the last sentence, Rainsford undergoes a series of life-changing events. Albeit, he goes through character development, there are various fixed character traits of Rainsford that remain prevailing. Richard Conell develops the character of Sanger Rainsford in “The Most Dangerous Game” by showing the reader his astuteness, courageousness, and physical strength.…show more content…
Rainsford’s characterization as courageous is being demonstrated as he accepts the proposition the antagonist has led out for him. Sanger quickly regains his composure, as he complies to his request; “And if I win –’ began Rainsford huskily. (9)” There is no detection of fear or unease to the hunter’s voice. The excerpt shows that as it does seem as though he is backing down from a challenge. It seems as Rainsford realized that this is a game of hunt. However, only that the chess pieces have changed. In addition, as Rainsford is fleeing from the general, he comes to face an ultimatum: either to be killed by his pursuer, or placing the fate in his own hands. As shown, he intrepidly chooses the latter. “It was the shore of the sea…twenty feet below him [Rainsford] the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea. (12)” Rainsford willingly leaps out into the sea, perhaps to his inevitable death. He is willing to risk his life than to be caught in the hands of Zaroff and his hounds. From these two particular acts, we learn that Rainsford is a courageous man, of one's own accord, commits actions that could lead to possible…show more content…
In particular, when the New York native becomes a castaway. Once Rainsford’s fortune had been set overseas, his physical strength and capabilities are shown. From the story, it states as “with his remaining strength he dragged himself from the swirling waters. Jagged crags appeared to just up… he forced himself upward hand over hand. (3)” With having to swim several miles in cold waters, as well as in the dark, and climbing upon the rocks leading up to the shore shows that Sanger is physically able. Being a hunter in itself should leave an individual physically fit to endure extreme situations, especially swimming until dawn. In addition, later on in the story, Rainsford yet again shows that he is physically capable to complete more than the average man. “A big tree with a thick trunk and outspread branches was near by, and taking care to leave not the slightest mark, he climbed up into the crotch… (10)” Climbing on to what is believed to be a tall tree, as it is in the jungle, demonstrates that the protagonist is able to hoist himself up there. Without having this trait, Rainsford would have not been able to win this “game”, or all alone make it onto the island.
Thus, while Rainsford is “a beast at bay”, it is significant to recognize Richard Conell’s creation and use of the protagonist’s characterization. The protagonist is the embodiment of the result of corruption, and how
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