The Most Dangerous Game - Character Description of Zaroff


You are all alone in the dark jungle of a mysterious island. You know how you got there and only wished that you could’ve prevented it. There is something on the prowl for you. Something bloodthirsty with a flesh reaping desire. But not an ordinary predator. A mischievous, deceitful, twisted creature with a mental capacity comparable to yours. You are trapped. You hear the snapping of twigs and the compressing of the soft moist earth. Your lip starts to quiver, your hands start to shake. You freeze dead in your tracks. Your thoughts spinning complacently in the darkness, covered and blinded by a blanket of little lies. False security has lulled the madness of this jungle into a slumber. You wake up. An eye is upon you. Staring straight down and keenly through, seeing all that you are and everything that you can never be. An eye is upon you. Eyes ready to blink, so you face forward with arms limp and mind reeling. Your destiny has arrived. This deceptive morbid creature is here. The only way to grasp on to your survival is to fight back. Are you ready to go?

There are many witnesses to General Zaroff’s deceptive character. One example is seen when Zaroff tricks Rainsford into thinking that he was welcomed on the island. Zaroff was cunning in his ways and was two-faced. Rainsford’s first reaction to Zaroff’s display of “hospitality” was that Zaroff admired him. That tempted Rainsford into staying in that eerie desolate castle. Zaroff invited Rainsford into his home but then forced Rainsford to play along. Zaroff tricked Rainsford into playing his sadist game and beforehand talked about having the best game. Rainsford thought that Zaroff was talking about jaguars or mutant game. Zaroff displays deceit when he says “You will be amused, I know, I think I may say, in all modesty, that I have done a rare thing”(p.13). Zaroff goes on to brag about how he was so clever in “importing” a new breed of game. He finds it quite amusing but Rainsford is appalled and disgusted by this man’s true nature. He is a very evil man with a sophisticate aura.

Another example of Zaroff’s deceptive character is seen when he is trying to make Rainsford think that he has a chance at winning the game. Rainsford has no desire for a manhunt, but it becomes obvious to him that he will need to participate one way or another to obtain his freedom. Zaroff says “I don’t wish you to think me a braggart, Mr. Rainsford. Many of them afford only the most elementary sort of problem. Occasionally I did strike a tartar (a man of the same mental capacity). One almost did win. I eventually had to use the dogs”(p.16). That line right there encourages Rainsford that one man of average hunting skills almost defeated this gruesome mastermind. Zaroff thinks that he will win and he knows it. He is a very proud man and could not stand to lose his pride. He would even have to get backup support from the dogs if he didn’t win. He had to win one way or another.

Finally, Zaroff’s deceptive character becomes paramount when Zaroff thinks that Rainsford is dead. Even though Rainsford appears in his room and Zaroff says “ I congratulate you, you have one the game”(p. 21), Zaroff still has to somehow justify his loss. He tells Rainsford he has won, yet he blatantly challenges him by saying basically he wanted to fight to see who really won. Zaroff was deceptive from the second that Rainsford met him, but mostly it revealed its’ truth in the aftermath. Rainsford often experienced it too late, like when he came to the door at first looking for shelter. He didn’t know what he was getting into until he was too far into Zaroff’s trap.

In conclusion, Zaroff’s deceptive nature is a lot like the Germans, under Hitler’s rule. They deceived the Jews into believing that they were going to survive, but in the end they killed most of them. Zaroff is a little diferent because ironically he is the one that loses at his own game. So watch out and beware for