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Most Dangerous Game Argumentative Essay

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In Richard Connell’s short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” motivations and justifications for hunting are revealed through the conflicting ideas of two hunters who disagree on what constitutes civilized hunting. In this short story, the protagonist is a hunter named Sanger Rainsford who states early in the story that animals have “no understanding” of emotion, including fear (Connell, pg 1). This may be how Rainsford justifies hunting, as he believes that his prey has neither a sense of fear nor the capability to understand that they are being hunted. In this way, Rainsford does not see what he is doing as cruel, as he believes that animals, unlike humans, do not understand emotion, and therefore their lives do not have value. Believing that…show more content…
For Rainsford, the “huntee” class is limited to animals, however Zaroff’s prey extends into the human population. Zaroff believes that God creates people with certain traits, for example, he has been created “a hunter” (Connell pg 18). This thinking can be extended to explain the belief that some humans are “created” as prey, which may be how Zaroff justifies his choice of quarry. Zaroff also states that “the weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure,” which serves as further proof that Zaroff disagrees with Rainsford’s belief of every human life inherently having value (Connell pg 24). While Rainsford and Zaroff both enjoy conquering their prey and have somewhat similar justifications for their actions, they have vastly different motivations. Rainsford hunts for sport and thrill, and justifies his actions through the belief that animals are not capable of emotion and are simply in a class of “huntees.” Zaroff hunts for danger and a way to test his wit, and justifies his actions through the belief that he was created a hunter, and he should therefore be allowed and encouraged to use his talent against those who he finds to be
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