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Compare And Contrast General Zaroff And Rainsford Essay Contest

At the start of the short story, Whitney and Rainsford discuss the feelings of the jaguar being hunted, and Rainsford points out that "[t]he world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees." The defining characteristic that Zaroff and Rainsford share is that of being in the same class: the hunters.

After Rainsford falls overboard, he swims towards the sound of gunshots and screams of pain and fear. When Rainsford wakes up on...

At the start of the short story, Whitney and Rainsford discuss the feelings of the jaguar being hunted, and Rainsford points out that "[t]he world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees." The defining characteristic that Zaroff and Rainsford share is that of being in the same class: the hunters.

After Rainsford falls overboard, he swims towards the sound of gunshots and screams of pain and fear. When Rainsford wakes up on the island, he encounters the patch of underbrush where the screaming creature must have died. He uses the same skills of observation honed by his hunting experience to come to this conclusion, the same skills that Zaroff, another experienced hunter, must have used to pursue and kill his prey.

When Zaroff and Rainsford meet, after Rainsford has confronted Ivan at the door of Zaroff's mansion, Zaroff starts his hunt with clever and witty intimidation tactics. These tactics are typical results of a hunter's "analytical mind," which Rainsford also possesses, as a hunter. Zaroff claims prior knowledge of Rainsford and admits to Rainsford that he is like Ivan, a "savage," in an attempt to disorient Rainsford and place him in a position of weakness. The appraising looks from Zaroff that bother Rainsford during dinner are also tactical, to put Rainsford on the defensive.

When Zaroff concedes that Rainsford has won the game at the end of the story, Rainsford insists that the hunt continue and that the two hunters fight to the death: "Get ready, General Zaroff." Rainsford's hunting instincts lead him to mistrust Zaroff, and he kills Zaroff knowing that that is the only way he will live. To the end, neither hunter can turn off their hunting skills, perhaps the mark of a true and lifelong hunter.

Rainsford and Zaroff share a few common traits, but as the story works toward its climax, they differ more and more.

In common, Rainsford and Zaroff both have an immense interest in the sport of hunting. Rainsford waxes poetically to his shipmate in the opening scenes about the skill and pleasure of the hunt. He shows excitement for his chance to go prove himself against a new query on the trip. In an obvious foreshadow,...

Rainsford and Zaroff share a few common traits, but as the story works toward its climax, they differ more and more.

In common, Rainsford and Zaroff both have an immense interest in the sport of hunting. Rainsford waxes poetically to his shipmate in the opening scenes about the skill and pleasure of the hunt. He shows excitement for his chance to go prove himself against a new query on the trip. In an obvious foreshadow, his shipmate ask him to consider how the jaguar (or animal being hunted) fells, and Rainsford laughs it off without empathy.

Zaroff also shows an extreme interest in hunting from the beginning. He is an expert and loves the hunt. Like Rainsford, he seems to have the wealth and time to partake in his hobby to an extreme degree. Not everyone could charter boats to exotic places to hunt a variety of game. 

The big difference between the men comes between PASSION and FANATICISM. Rainsford passion makes him devote much of his life to hunting and leads to his position in the story. However Zaroff's obsession is much more to the extreme end. He is so fanatical that he becomes less human in his sympathy and empathy for others. He no longer values life in any means because his "game" of hunting the toughest query overrides all else.

Rainsford, experiencing the side of the hunted gains sympathy for the animals he has tracked and killed in his past and sees an ugliness in the extremism Zaroff represents.