The True Nature of Humans

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

My TPECPEC on the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell.

What Richard Connell is suggesting about people in general by telling this story is that no matter how cultured or modern people are, their natural instincts, just like everyone else’s, will be to survive and fight for their life, no matter what they have to do. When in a life or death situation, someone’s first response will be to save themself - even if it means using strength they don’t have or tiring themselves to the point of exhaustion. While fighting for his life against the harsh waves of the ocean, Rainsford has to climb a cliff: “With his remaining strength he dragged himself from the swirling waters … he forced himself upward, hand over hand. Gasping, his hands raw” (Connell 2). As shown in the language Connell used like “remaining strength” or “his hands raw”, the evidence points to the fact that Rainsford pushed his body to the limit, and in the moment, he did something he probably couldn’t have at another time. He probably got an adrenaline rush that allowed him, under a most stressful situation, to do what he needed to live on. Although he probably damaged himself in the process, he lived, and that was all he cared about then. When having to choose between their own life and someone else's, humans will most likely try and preserve themselves, even if it means going against their very morals. While having a conversation with General Zaroff, the topic of hunting humans is brought up and Rainsford expresses his distaste at the idea of it, exclaiming “Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder.“ (Connell 7) However, when thrown into the hunt and forced to kill or be killed himself, Rainsford chooses the latter and kills General Zaroff: “One of us [Zaroff or Rainsford] is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed . . . He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.“ (Connell 13) Although it is not clearly stated here, with the information given, it is heavily implied that Rainsford killed General Zaroff. Earlier Rainsford said killing humans was wrong and should be considered murder, but in order to live on himself, he had to disobey his own merits. Even though Rainsford did have his reasons for killing Zaroff, as he was a murderer, this doesn’t give him the right to go against his very core beliefs. Killing Zaroff means being as bad as Zaroff himself.


Submitted: October 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Atiksh Paul. All rights reserved.

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