4 November 2013
A Lack of Empathy In Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”, he utilizes characterization and the setting to illustrate that the lack of empathy can create unhuman-like behavior. The sinister character Zaroff is characterized as somewhat of a villain in the story. Zaroff knows who Rainsford is-a very skilled hunter. He even mentioned about the books he wrote. Zaroff was obviously a fan of Rainsford and maybe even idolized him for being a somewhat famous hunter. Zaroff wants to see how well Rainsford can do as the prey instead of the predator. His gruesome plan was to set him out on the island and hunt him down like Rainsford did with all the animals he hunted. He gives him clothes to wear for the hunt and that’s it. Zaroff was very cocky and mentioned how nobody could last the whole 24 hours without being killed. Mentioning that also showed that Zaroff was extremely confident with his hunting abilities. Zaroff releases Rainsford and gives him a head start. Immediately Rainsford hides. But Zaroff finds him quickly. Zaroff sees Rainsford but wants to keep the gruesome game going. He is taunting Rainsford by seeing how long he could survive. In the story, it reads, “But the sharp eyes of the hunter stopped before they reached the limb where Rainsford lay; a smile spread over his brown face.” The author included this to characterize how evil he is. In another part of the story, Zaroff explains how he benefits from the weak to his own advantage. He says, “The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure.” He is referring to the people he hunts on his island for fun. This is for sure an example of unhuman like behavior. Lemon 2
The setting also illustrates a lack of empathy in the story. First, Rainsford was on the ship discussing the allegedly cursed waters. When they mention that, it creates a creepy feeling in the story. After Rainsford falls off the boat, he is fighting for his life.