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Murder Island Horror Trap

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This short story by the name of The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Cornell tells us about a main character by the name of Snager Rainsford and an antagonist by the name of General Zaroff. General Zaroff forces Rainsford to play a game against each other to see which one of them survives. If Rainsford survives he gets a trip back to where he came from. If he doesn’t General Zaroff will kill him and threre will be no prize for Rainsford. It takes place way far off in the Atlantic Ocean on an island called Ship-Trap Island. General Zaroff believes in hunting down humans while Mr. Rainsford does not believe in such ideals. These such ideals of his change in the story. Rainsford feels how it is to be animal himself. His knowing “how an animal at bay feels” signals his identity change because he becomes prey and switches his ideals on murder.

Rainsford’s becoming prey is a clear reason why his identity changed. He sees that animals do have other emotions and have an actual understanding. Before Rainsford came onto the Island he was a pure hunter and nothing else. But as it progresses he felt himself what it feels like to be hunted and starts to understand the fear and nervousness of an animal. When he first came onto the island he gets toyed around with like prey until he is forced to play a game. His clear emotions are then shown when he is getting hunted down by the General. He says“I will not lose my nerve. I will not” (Connel 12). This signifies a change Rainsfords identity. He shows signs as if an prey running from the hunter would. The more the game progresses the more he tells himself this because he knows his hunter is coming . He knows that if he does not tell himself this he will fall into General Zaroff’s trap. He says it quite some times also.

Rainsford can also be seen switching his ideals on murder which signals his identity change. Rainsford knew from the start that murder is wrong and condones it many times when General Zaroff mentions it. He acts as more of a pure man with innocence and finds the act as crazy to even think about it even though he has been in the war. When he gets hunted down and is held against his own heroic word. This is seen when in the game he tries to kill Zaroff many times. He stops thinking for himself. When they are trailing on him and he has to create his own trap He quotes, “They must have reached the knife (Connel 14). This means he had the intent of killing them. Rainsford knows that killing is wrong and immoral. But in the heat of the moment of life and death he switched his ideals and became a murderer.

Cornell shows us the identity change in Rainsford’s knowing how an animal at bay feels. His becoming prey and switching his ideals on murder are clear representatives to why he had changed. This impacts the character of Rainsford and shows that he is not all moral and a normal human at that also. Rainsford becoming an animal shows us that all of us humans can turn our identity around if we are pushed so far too.

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