The Use Of Insanity In 'The Most Dangerous Game'

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When some think of the word “insanity,” they think of crazy people, with impossible ideas and strange thoughts, perhaps people with a different way of thinking than most people do. However, what does one define as morally insane? Does the list just include cannibalism, does it extend to cold-blooded murder? In “The Most Dangerous Game,” also known by “The Hounds of Zaroff,” a short story by Richard Connell, the antagonist, General Zaroff can be perceived as insane. This is because the protagonist, Sanger Rainsford, discovers that Zaroff hunts humans for sport. However, I believe that General Zaroff is not insane, for multiple reasons. Three reasons are: clear thinking, lack of symptoms pointing to insanity, and Zaroff’s reaction at the end of the short story. General Zaroff’s cool headedness adds to the various textual evidence that he is not, in fact, insane. When he is introduced to the story, he praises Rainsford's hunting ability with a seemed preparedness. Rainsford observes that the General seems to read his mind at times. He is prepared for every question that Rainsford has, and even answers some that were never asked. His actions seem calculated to make Rainsford more comfortable with him, however, as a fellow hunter, Rainsford observes, “whenever he looked up from his plate he found the general studying him, appraising him narrowly.” This makes Rainsford uncomfortable, sets him on edge for the information that Zaroff is about to reveal. During the hunt, Zaroff
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