General Zaroff In The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connell

Words: 446
Pages: 2

The Most Dangerous, Twisted Mind

Murder, or the most thrilling challenge of a hunter’s life? To General Zaroff, the lead character in The Most Dangerous Game, this question has a disturbing answer. General Zaroff uses his self-described “analytical mind” to rationalize that only one animal - a human being - can provide the thrill he desires when he hunts. As the story unfolds, his twisted thought process and ideologies become apparent to the reader. To show this, author Richard Connell uses the jungle on the island symbolise General Zaroff’s twisted mind.
Zaroff’s island, and all the danger and traps it beholds, are likened to his mind. After first meeting the character Rainsford, General Zaroff explains to him the purpose of the island and
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The island is perfect for my purposes--there are jungles with a maze of traits in them, hills, swamps--"

In this quote, Zaroff explains the traps and challenges in the jungle - the hills, the swamps - which he describes as “perfect for [his] purposes” which are chasing and hunting human beings. The jungle, described as a maze, represents General Zaroff’s mind, as both are twisted. His description of his house on the island, in the jungle, parallels the idea that he is living within his twisted ideas. After informing Rainsford about the “game” they will be playing, which is actually General Zaroff hunting Rainsford, General Zaroff gives Rainsford some advice about what he may want to do:
“I suggest, too, that you avoid the big swamp in the southeast corner of the island. We call it Death Swamp. There's quicksand there. One foolish fellow tried it.”

On the one hand, this quote illustrates the perils of the jungle on the island General Zaroff has created. Death Swamp also describes Zaroff’s dark mind, and his obsession with hunting and killing. Quicksand suggests the inescapable and certain death. The reference further shows how dark General Zaroff’s mind is. Zaroff is using the quicksand for trapping human prey, yet he is blasé about the hunting and killing and jokes ominously about the name of his