Literary Analysis of the Most Dangerous Game

1209 words 5 pages
Literary Analysis of The Most Dangerous Game Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous explains multiple theories, such as nature versus nurture, and survival of the fittest. This short story also seems to have an underlying theme of Social Darwinism (Of Two Classes). Throughout the entirety of the short story, Connell shows a character change of a main character, Rainsford, who is at a constant battle with General Zaroff, the antagonist. This character change shows the importance of the mindset of characters, and how it can be applied to everyday life. In the beginning and towards the end of the short story, the theory of nature versus nurture becomes apparent. In the beginning when Rainsford is talking to Whitney, Rainsford believes …show more content…
This is clear when Zaroff tells Rainsford “You’ll find this game worth playing. Your brain against mine. Your woodcraft against mine. Your strength and stamina against mine. Outdoor chess! And the stake is not without value, eh?” Zaroff clearly thinks of hunting humans as a mere game, and has total confidence that he will win. Rainsford proved to be the winner of this game though, due to his strength of body and mind. He knew that he had to be more than physically strong to beat Zaroff at his own game, and came up with a plan to hide and then strike. In Rainsford’s own words, “I have played the fox, and now I must play the cat of the fable.” Another prominent theory in The Most Dangerous Game is Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is giving certain individuals, races, or cultures undesirable qualities and is almost never applied to one’s own self (Of Two Classes). The idea of Social Darwinism is mostly portrayed through General Zaroff. Throughout the short story Zaroff talks about animals, people, and even his doorman, Ivan, in a discriminatory manner. One should not look down on someone who is deaf, but when talking about Ivan, he says “but he has the misfortune to be deaf and dumb. A simple fellow, but, I'm afraid, like all his race, a bit of a savage." Because of these traits that Ivan has, Zaroff believes that he is a better species than Ivan (Of Two Classes). Zaroff also believes that animals are only

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