Making Meanings 
The Most Dangerous Game 

First Thoughts 

1. What do you think happens to Zaroff? What are some possible endings for the story? 

Shaping Interpretations 

2. To hook our curiosity, writers drop clues that foreshadow, or hint at, what is going to happen later in a story. 

• What clues at the start of the story foreshadow danger ahead for Rainsford? 

• How does Rainsford’s discussion about hunting at the start of the story foreshadow later developments? 

• What details in the description of Zaroff’s unusual dental features and lips foreshadow the truth about his nature? (How do these details make him seem like a monster?) 

3. Compare and contrast Rainsford and Zaroff. List the characteristics of each man. Then list the characteristics they share. 

4. Based on their characters, decide if Rainsford changes his mind about hunting by the end of the story. (Is it possible that he becomes just like Zaroff?) 

Connecting with the Text 

5. Do the characters in this story make some comments that you felt strongly about? Be sure to evaluate Zaroff’s arguments for hunting men. 

Extending the Text 

6. Think about Zaroff’s civilized tastes and his favorite game. Do “Zaroffs”—people whose manners mask their true nature—exist in real life? Explain. 

Challenging the Text 

Click here to navigate through the story: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7, page 8, and Homework.


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