"I wanted the ideal animal to hunt," explained the general. "So I said, ‘What are the attributes of an ideal quarry?’ And the answer was, of course, ‘It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason.’ “But no animal can reason," objected Rainsford. "My dear fellow," said the general, "there is one that can." "But you can't mean" gasped Rainsford”
(Connell). Zaroff believes hunting humans is better than hunting all other creatures because all other game are not as intelligent, and he has become bored with his favorite hobby. As the story develops, Zaroff tells Rainsford that to be able to leave the island he must survive being the prey.
The finale scene illustrates how Rainsford traps Zaroff and decides to confront him. This leads the reader to question why he decided to speak with the villain, rather than just taking the opportunity to kill him on the spot. He may have many motives for doing this. Consider the possibility that he believed in a fair fight, or that he was compelled to tell him what he had been doing was finally coming to an end, or maybe he desired to have the last laugh.
Rainsford decided to confront Zaroff instead of a surprise attack. Once confronted by
Rainsford, Zaroff exclaims, “I congratulate you. You have won the game” (Connell). Although,
Rainsford could have accepted victory since he survived the four days of being prey, he clearly needed to deal with Zaroff’s actions and put an end to Zaroff and his gruesome hobby.
Rainsford’s feelings were clear that he felt he was still “a beast at bay” (Connell). Since
Rainsford was definitely going to kill Zaroff he could have taken two different approaches, but he did not want to be a coward and kill Zaroff by a sneak attack, but instead he offered Zaroff the
challenge of a final fight. Rainsford wanted to win fair and square, and shooting Zaroff from behind would not have done a great hunter, such as Rainsford, justice.
Rainsford wanted to put an end to Zaroff hunting humans as a way to overcome his boredom of hunting animals. Rainsford never felt guilty about hunting his prey until he became prey to General Zaroff. He believed the world was made up of two classes, the hunters and the huntees. The night he faced Zaroff he could have accepted the fact that he won Zaroff’s game, but after…