what is the conflict of the most dangerous game

what is the conflict of the most dangerous game

The Conflict of “The Most Dangerous Game”

The short story by Richard Connell, “The Most Dangerous Game”, is an intense, suspenseful tale about a hunter and his prey. It is a psychological showdown between the two-man protagonist, General Zaroff, and his opponent, Rainsford. The setting is an isolated Caribbean island, and the conflict can be broken down into three main themes. These themes are:

Man Versus Man

The conflict in this story is driven by Zaroff’s single belief – that hunting is the most thrilling, challenging form of sport. He has grown tired of hunting animals, and so looks to Rainsford as his next ‘prey’. In this fight, Zaroff is determined to win, and even tells Rainsford that he will not kill him, rather he will “hunt” him. This shows Zaroff’s determination to win by any cost, and Rainsford is given the challenge of avoiding Zaroff’s traps, and staying alive.

Man Versus Nature

The environment of the island is described as hostile and a danger to Rainsford. He must battle against his environment and find ways to survive and come up with ways to outsmart Zaroff. The story clearly shows the dangers of the environment, as Rainsford narrowly escapes Zaroff’s traps and gets exhausted from the physical strain of running. Rainsford must use his resourcefulness and cunning to survive.

Man Versus Himself

Rainsford’s inner moral conscience is tested throughout the story. He finds himself in a situation which he did not wishes to be in, where his life is threatened by Zaroff. Throughout the tale Rainsford must make difficult decisions while considering his own moral code. Will he resort to cruel methods in order to survive, or will he use his own morality as a guide to make his decisions?

Connell’s story illustrates the conflict between man and man, man and nature, and man and himself. It shows us how desperate a human is willing to become when life is threatened, and how fragile the balance is between morality, preservation of life and the will to win. It is an interesting and thrilling tale of morality, courage, and the deadly challenge of survival.



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