The Most Dangerous Game

By Richard Connell

Plot Summary

When big-game hunter Rainsford falls off a yacht, he had no idea just what was in store for him. Landing on a tropical island, Rainsford comes into contact with General Zaroff, another big-game hunter whose interest in finding the most intelligent animal is deadly. Rainsford must outsmart and outlast Zaroff, and the "game" will test his stamina, determination, and wits.

Characterization and Theme

Richard Connell brings up several important ethical issues in his short story. The general himself challenges Rainsford's notion of a "civilized" human being and even brings up the horror of World War I as a reminder that "civilized" people commit murder just as easily during war as the general does on his island. While the general obviously reeks of all kinds of crazy, the question remains: why don't we consider war to be an uncivilized manhunt?