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Common Themes In The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connell

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In the classic story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, we are introduced to Sanger Rainsford, a well-known hunter. At first, Rainsford holds himself in high esteem and is proud of his power, dominance, and skill in hunting. Throughout the adventure, we watch as Rainsford meets new characters, turns from hunter to hunted, and at last overcomes his destructive arrogance. Along the way he meets General Zaroff, a prideful and ruthless big-game hunter. Fortunately, through the general’s mistakes, Rainsford learns an important lesson on personal character. The recurring theme of this classic work is the danger of taking excessive pride in one’s own past accomplishments, current strength, and perceived superiority. As demonstrated in Connell’s gripping narrative, a sense of vanity in one’s past achievements can be man’s greatest downfall. When Rainsford first arrives on the mysterious Ship-Trap Island, he meets General Zaroff, who haughtily explains, “Hunting had ceased to be what you call a ‘sporting proposition.’ It had become too easy. I always got my quarry. Always. There is no greater bore than perfection” (Connell 6). Because Zaroff places so much pride in his excellence and accomplishments, he fails to take situations seriously and fully recognize their gravity. For example, because Zaroff overestimates his competence, he falsely believes that there is no chance of Rainsford winning the game. After Rainsford jumps into the water to escape pursuit, Zaroff assumes
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