The Adventurous Tale of Rainsford
People’s characteristics and actions can determine what will happen to them. This is true in Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game.” Rainsford’s key characteristics such as his creativeness, toughness, and moral values are crucial to his survival.
Rainsford is a very clever and creative man and this is crucial to his survival. He is creative by hiding up in a tree but before he hides in the tree, he is frantically looking for a place to go. He decides to walk around the forest in multiple circles so then he will be harder to find because Zaroff will not be able to find him as easily. Zaroff ends up finding the tree that Rainsford was hiding in but he did not find Rainsford and he just started laughing. Rainsford then comes up with a very clever idea. He decides to cut the tree he is hiding in to a point where if Zaroff touches the tree it will fall on him so he worked hard on the tree, “Rainsford took his knife from its sheath and began to work with all his energy.”(28). Rainsford’s creativeness and cleverness also help him stay alive because he ties his knife to a vine and it will fly at whoever or whatever walks by. He wanted Zaroff to walk by but instead it was Ivan and Ivan died because of it. Rainsford also found a hole of quicksand. He decided to cover it up with leaves so then it would be hard to tell that it was quicksand and the person that walked on it would hopefully get stuck and die. One of Zaroff’s hounds was looking for Rainsford and it fell in the hole and died and Zaroff says “Your Burmese Tiger pit has claimed one of my best dogs.”(29). Although Rainsford is very creative and clever, these are not his only traits that help him live.
Rainsford’s toughness is very important to his survival. Rainsford is a very tough person both mentally and physically. Rainsford shows his physical toughness by swimming to Ship-Trap Island. The reason why Rainsford even met Zaroff is because he fell off a yacht when he dropped his cigar and stumbled off of the boat. He was nervous so he just decided to swim until he got to land and then he remembered “A certain cool-headedness had come to him: it was not the first time he had been in a tight place.”(15). Rainsford got all the way to Ship-Trap Island and he found Zaroff’s house and that is how they met. Rainsford also shows toughness by not giving up on going through the forest, “Rainsford had fought his way through the bush for two hours: “I must keep my nerve”, he said through tight teeth.” (26). This situation would take a lot of mental toughness because anyone could just have a nervous breakdown because they could die and it takes physical toughness because you could get cut up from walking through the forest for two hours. After Rainfords gets to the cliff he swims to Zaroff’s house which is very clever and brave. Rainsford also fights Zaroff because he hates what Zaroff has done. He kills Zaroff in the fight and this definitely proves that Rainsford is a tough man. Raonsford’s mental and physical toughness save him from Zaroff, who he has a conflict with because Zaroff is a murderer.
Rainsford has conflicts with General Zaroff because he has moral values and Zaroff is a killer. Zaroff and Rainford do not agree at all. These two men argue about killing men for a long time because Rainsford knows it is a terrible thing and Zaroff thinks it is fine so Rainsford says “Civilized? And yet you shoot down men.”(22). Also when Zaroff first tells Rainsford that he hunts men Rainsford thinks it is a joke because no one would be cruel enough to hunt men for fun. He confronts Zaroff and says “ General, I wish to leave this island at once.”(25). This shows that he is not a crazy person that gets pleasure out of killing people but that he has moral values. Rainsford’s moral values is what separates him from Zaroff.
Rainsford’s crucial characteristics to his survival are his creativeness, toughness, and moral values. “The Most Dangerous Game”, written by Richerd Connell, shows that characteristics of people can have a strong power in determining people’s fate. Rainsford is an excellent example of important characteristics and traits determining what will happen in someone’s own future.