"The Most Dangerous Game" questions
1. The opening paragraph introduces the mystery of the island. As the mystery is explained - during Rainsford's dinner conversation with Zaroff - a second question is raised: Must Rainsford himself play the game? The final section of the story is concerned with an even more urgent question. What is that question? When is this question answered? The opening lines of the story promise suspense and strange adventure. How well is that promise fulfilled?
2. By what steps has General Zaroff come to play "the most dangerous game"? What qualities of character and mind made the idea appeal to him? What life circumstances have led him to his unique arrangements for pursuing the activity? How has Zaroff's upbringing contributed to his taste for this sport?
3. General Zaroff claims he likes to match wits with his quarry. Why does he hunt with a 22-caliber pistol? with dogs? How sporting a chance does he actually give his victims? Is there any risk at all for him?
4. Consider Rainsford's "victory". Does he win solely by his own strength and ingenuity, or is he aided by a weakness in Zaroff? What physical and mental qualities does Rainsford possess that enable him to have a chance? How does he differ from the usual 'contestants' in Zaroff's game?
5. In the opening conversation of the story, Rainsford states that "...the world is made up of two classes - the hunters and the huntees." Is that a statement of scientific fact, or is it one man's interpretation of life? In what ways are Rainsford and Zaroff alike? At what point do their ideas differ? How might Rainsford's experiences on the island alter his earlier views about hunting?
6. The story suggests that wanton hunting destroys important qualities in a man. What are those qualities? Explain how this kind of sport can become a "dangerous game" for the hunter. Do such hazards exist for all hunters? Why or why not?