“It is a very great pleasure and honour to welcome Mr. Sanger Rainsford, the celebrated hunter, into my home. ” These are the first words spoken to Rainsford by General Zaroff upon his arrival on Ship-trap Island. Formally greeting Rainsford gives Zaroff an appearance of a proper gentleman; well-educated and well-mannered. But by his dark eyes, military moustache, and strong face you can also tell that he is obviously a strong leader and military general.
Behind his high cheek bones, white hair and sharp nose is a strange madness not reflected by his looks. Murdering fellow human beings despite his proper look provides a stark contrast between what is seen on the outside and what personality lies on the inside. Much better described then the other characters in the story, General Zaroff is obviously a “round” character in the story “A Most Dangerous Game”.
Through his words and actions we are given a deeper view of the General Zaroff character and from that information it is easy to assume his way of thinking and his reason for making certain decisions. Giving General Zaroff’s character a lot of depth creates the perfect “round” character. Sticking to his belief that killing humans is great fun and more of a sport then murder through the entire story, General Zaroff is a static character who obviously never learned a lesson from his experiences.
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Arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate to the great value of life, General Zaroff is a pretty bad guy. ‘But the sharp eyes of the hunter stopped before they reach the limb on which Rainsford lay; a smile crept across his face… he turned his back on the tree and walked carelessly away. ’ In this short couple of sentences, the author demonstrates the arrogance of Zaroff. To demonstrate his inconsiderateness to the value of human life, Zaroff, when asked why he could do such a thing (hunt another human being) he answers, “Ennui. Boredom. By hunting Rainsford, Zaroff demonstrates that he is looking for a worthy opponent and by not sending him off with the others who got trapped on the island to exercise and gain muscle he obviously sees Rainsford, a fellow hunter, as a worthy opponent. Casually walking away from the tree he knew that Rainsford was in shows that because he knew exactly where Rainsford was, he wanted to give him another try to escape, mostly because he expected a lot more from him and was still bored because Rainsford was too easy to track.
By saying things like, “Not many men know how to make a Malay mancatcher…” and, “Your Burmese tiger pit has claimed one of my best dogs. Again you score. ” shows that he is obviously impressed by Rainsford’s intelligence and creativity. The author tells us a lot about General Zaroff in many different ways as to give contrast to the character. Though the things he says and does are very much the same, his physical appearance (shown by what the author tells us about him) is very difficult then how he behaves throughout the story.
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