Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

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The Most Dangerous Game [character analysis]

The Most Dangerous Game
by Richard Connell

{Note: Count Zaroff is not to be confused with Sir Basil Zaharoff, although the author may have been influenced by his exploits.}

"Do Not Kill Non-Human Animals Unless Attacked Or For Your Food."
- Anton Szandor LaVey, 7th Rule of The Earth.

I found Count Zaroff to be interesting because of his pernicious proclivity to hunt humans, which harks back to the predatory nature of the predatory human beast, and may be a statement to the repression in a civilized society of the dark side of the psyche, which may be why there is such a fascination in western society with horror movies and novels - that is, the spectacle of blood-letting. In Western culture, the Judiciary process and law and order proclaims to guarentee that a criminal will be punished, and the scales of jurisprudence will be balanced in the end, or at least that would be the professed ideal, but not necessarily the reality.

In other countries, vigilanteism is enforced while cloaked in fundamentalist religious jargon. With this mentality, the people are only following so-called "holy law", which was invented by other humans in the name of some delusional concept of a god-construct, to regulate their behavior, and as such, are mere puppets to another's will.

While vigilanteism can be very effective, in that it removes destructive organisms, attaining immediate justice, thus fascillitating closure, it also serves as a preventative measure to potential criminals, as the crime rate in third-world countries tends to be quite low in comparison to other nations. It forces people to seriously think twice before committing a crime.

Count Zaroff owned his own island where he could do as he pleased, from constructing his own laws, and be the arbiter of the destiny of those present thereon. He certainly knew the terrain and any hiding spots there may be, thus granting him the advantage in every instance of the hunt. Although there may have been another reason for this deadly game. He was a sadist at heart, seemingly deriving more pleasure in the psychological torture inflicted upon his prey than to match wits with the quarry. He did, however, offer his victims the opportunity of a slim chance to defeat him, which may have spoken to his subconscious proclivities, or perhaps he was just being a good sport about it. A true Sadist would already realize and have orchestrated an end result, instead of allowing that possibility. In My opinion, being that the island was his Lair, he had every right.

I believe the very act of hunting without necessity, that is to say, hunting not for defensive purposes for oneself and loved ones, or for food, but only as a sort of so-called "sport", lends to the observation that there are unresolved, deep-seated issues of control, perhaps compensating for a feeling of helplessness and/or failure in other venues of existence. For by considering other species of animals "inferior", would then provide a convenient justification for homicide and genocide, as well as a false supplement to an already impoverished ego {See Satanic Statement 7}. On a human scale, let stratification take its course, for egalitarianism only works once, to determine where people place themselves according to their ability, and where they progress according to merit.

Count Zaroff is ultimately an archetypally-romanticized character and trait representing the shadow side of the human psyche too often denied, to often under-estimated, and under-stimulated, which only speaks to the necessity of its symbolic existence. It represents primordial fears of the dark, the forbidden, and the fascinating. The experience of natural emotions such as hatred, anger, greed, and lust. To harness this awesome potential force towards constructive ends when reasonably applied, through balanced expressions in The Arts, can produce magnificent plays, films, music, and literature, or it can prove to be a section in ourselves most choose not to see, yet its repressive denial will only yield to an imbalanced monster. The Key: make the inner monster work for you.

Tags: literature, satan's scroll

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