Comparison and Contrast of _the Most Dangerous Game_ and _the Child by Tiger_ Essay

Thesis: In these two stories we observe some of man’s darker nature. We observe two seemingly normal people with dark sides to each of them and will explain how each one is similar and also very different from one another. I. The protagonist, General Zaroff is the main focus of the essay, because of his darker nature and his motivations. A. At first, General Zaroff comes off as welcoming and kind in nature for taking Rainsford in. He gives Rainsford food, clothing and shelter after being lost at sea. B. The man explains to Rainsford that he has been a hunter his whole life and is good at what he does, but he has grown bored of hunting animals. C. He then comes to conclusion that he hunts man because of their strength, courage, and reason. D. Eventually he then forces Rainsford to participate in the game as Zaroff’s game. E.

In the end, Rainsford finds his way back to the house and kills Zaroff, leaving him a s “food for the hounds” II. In the story, “The Child by Tiger”, Dick Prosser is the main character of the story. A. At first the story comes of praising Dick, almost making him seem perfect. He is a “deeply religious man” that was very talented in the things he did, and the Shepperton family believed there was nothing he could not do. B. He seems kind at first willing to help in any way he can with the family. Although, throughout the story they explain that there is something off about him. How he moves quietly like a cat, and even though he was deeply religious it seemed very dark and strange. The motivations are unclear from the character and almost unpredictable from the beginning of the story. C. The town wakes up in a panic one night, with word going around that Dick Prosser is on a rampage and has killed several people.

D. Town starts a mob that tracks him down through the woods and past the creek. He kills a few more men and runs out of ammunition. He then throws his gun to the side and moves towards the creek. E. The mob shoots him down, over 300 times according to a man who is boasting about it later on in the story. III. General Zaroff and Dick Prosser are both similar in that they both had come off as seemingly normal people, and yet they both had a dark and twisted side to the both of them. A. Dick Prosser comes off as a gentle soul who the children of the Shepperton all trust and gives off the belief that he is a good person. B. General Zaroff at first comes off as a normal man who likes to live in solitude and enjoys the finer things, even being warm and welcoming by inviting Rainsford into his home. IV. They differ more than they compare, even though they both share the same twisted, dark nature.

A. General Zaroff seems to live in almost his own mind where he has convinced himself that hunting other human beings as being completely normal. It has become an exciting game and there is nothing that you can see about him that has “snapped” or has “gone crazy” He simply wants to hunt something more exciting, whether it is morally wrong. B. Dick Prosser is a colored servant for a white family back in the set time where everything is very racially segregated. He works for a wealthy white family and seems to come off as a goodhearted man who is of good use to the family.

Then one night it seems as though he has “snapped” and unleashes his inner demons on the town, killing many innocent victims. At the end, when the Sheppertons’ go into his room and find the chapter that he has left the Bible on shows that this was most likely pre-meditated. V. In conclusion, although both character came from two different backgrounds and the stories were both very different, they were alike in the fact that they both had darker sides of them that had been unleashed. A. Both stories portray how easy it is for mankind to be dark in nature and to become something monstrous. B. Whether it be planned and turned into a game or on a whim of the dark demons inside of them letting out, they both lived lives of corruption, which in turn, led to their inevitable deaths.

Thesis: These two stories show the darker side of human nature, and although someone can seem perfectly normal, they may have a darker side to them that no one would ever expect.

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In the two stories, “The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Child by Tiger”, these two seemingly normal men come off as almost kind hearted and good natured people in the beginning of both stories. Later on, we realize that this is not so, and these two both have more in common than they are different.

General Zaroff seems to be very hospitable and helps a man in need when Rainsford comes to his door after being lost at sea. He takes him into his home and feeds him, gives him clothing, and a nice comfortable place to sleep in.

In the other story, Dick Prosser comes off as a kind and gentle man who the Shepperton’s claimed was their “best negro man they’d ever had.” In the beginning of the story, it seems that they have nothing negative to say about him and “there is little that Dick Prosser could not do.” Dick would teach the boys of the family how to play football or would teach them other handy things, coming off as a role model to the children. Dick Prosser was also a deeply religious man and would read his Bible every day, the children started to notice something odd about him. The way he moved was very quiet and unnoticed, and although he was religious, there was something dark and strange about it. General Zaroff explains to Rainsford that hunting big game animal has become boring to him and he wanted something more exciting of a hunt for him. As he goes on explaining his new quarry, Rainsford discovers that Zaroff is talking about hunting humans. Zaroff explains it is exciting because humans have “courage, cunning, and reason.” They can think logically and make it a harder hunt for Zaroff, thus far making it more exciting.

He then tells Rainsford he want him to be his new quarry and gives him a three hour head start for the hunt. Throughout the three days of hunting down Rainsford he comes across three different types of traps that Rainsford has tried setting up to trap him. Each one fails to trap General Zaroff, but he finds this more amusing then anything and throughout the story he seems to enjoy these traps more because they make it a more exciting game for him. In the story his dark nature is revealed at the beginning with his conversation with Rainsford. The moment Rainsford figures out what Zaroff is speaking about, you see that there is something much darker about him. He is not the normal hunter with good hospitality skills that the story first initiates.

He is now a twisted and dark murderer who finds amusement out of hunting down human beings. Throughout the story, Dick Prosser starts coming off as more increasingly strange and almost scary as it progresses. A man in the village hits the Sheppperton’s car and angrily punches Dick in the face. Everyone notices his eyes turn red but he does not hit him back. The gun that he warns the children not to speak about until Christmas morning sends off another warning sign that something is not right.

Why would he be wanting to hide that from the family if there was an innocent reasoning behind it? When the sirens go off in the village and everyone is awoken to the warnings that Dick Prosser is on a murderous rampage, the town starts to panic. By that time in the story he is claimed to have already killed six people. The town forms angry mob that chases him down to the creek. Eventually, they catch up to him and he has run out of bullets. He then calmly walks down to the creek, takes off his shoes and sets them aside and gets down on his knees. The mob of angry men shoot him well over three hundred times even though the first shot had likely killed him immediately. Both of these men share the characteristics that they each had a darker, more evil side to them then first expected. The differences between them is that General Zaroff simply had grown bored and wanted something more exciting to hunt. Out of his own selfish needs for entertainment he had decided to start killing human beings for sport.

Dick Prosser is a little harder to understand. At first he seems like an all-around good Christian man who wants nothing more than to be of great help to the family. It’s hard to say whether he did it because he had it planned all along from the beginning and he was more evil than good, or if he had simply snapped after a buildup of emotions and went on a murderous rampage. In the story, after running out of bullets, he takes his shoes off and sets them neatly aside, then stands up and accepts his fate. It seemed like this was his plan all along, to do his evil deed then go out with his religious mindset.

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The family later on finds the Bible left open on Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Whether he believes that God would have been forgiving of him after what he had done is a mystery. Both of these stories portray that as humans we have a good and evil side and if that balance is upset and evil takes over it can have terrible outcomes. Both of these characters chose the evil side of their good and evil balance and because they lived their lives in corruption, it resulted in their inevitable death.


Connell, R. (1924) “The Most Dangerous Game”

Wolfe, T. (1937) “The Child by Tiger”

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