CommonLit THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME Answers [202]

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Note: Be prepared to share your original ideas in a class discussion.


Discussion – Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q1. How might the author’s use of the word “game” in the title of this story have a double meaning?
Ans: The author’s use of game in the title may have a double meaning because yes to Zaroff it is a game but also game is what you call animals that you hunt. If searched, the exact definition is “wild mammals or birds hunted for sport or food.” So the dangerous game as in Rainsford ended up killing Zaroff so to Zaroff, Rainsford was a dangerous “game” in both definitions.

Q2. Zaroff says he started hunting the most dangerous game because he was bored. In your opinion, is this a common reason why people do bad things?
Ans: Yes, boredom can lead to impulse and bad decision-making. Being bored can cause people to do anything to not be bored. Why do you think that when you are bored and have nothing to do you start to do things you’ve probably never done before or done in a long time? When boredom strikes a lack of judgment strikes too.

Q3. Zaroff compares the war to hunting human beings on his island. How are people changed by war? Is warlike hunting? How does it differ?
Ans: In war, you are “hunting” for the enemy. You are setting up traps making sure you don’t get caught first etc. I can understand why to Zaroff it was the same and it might’ve been a game to him. Though the point of war is to make the
other side die for their country, that’s how you win a war. Hunting is unnecessary, it’s for sport and satisfaction.

Q4. In “The Most Dangerous Game,” humans are described as the one animal that can reason, but humans fall for obvious tricks and are hunted like animals. Humans use the environment to their advantage, but sometimes the environment becomes a trap. What is the relationship between humans and animals, or between humans and nature? Do humans control nature, or does nature eventually triumph?
Ans: The relationship between humans and animals/nature is complex and multifaceted. Humans possess reasoning abilities that set them apart from other animals but they also share a deep connection with nature as part of the natural world themselves.
Humans have historically sought to control nature through technological advancements and exploitation of resources. However, nature has its own inherent power that cannot be fully controlled by humans. In instances like those described in “The Most Dangerous Game,” where humans fall victim to their own tricks within nature’s environment, it highlights how nature can ultimately triumph over human attempts at control. Overall, while humans may exert influence over nature, there are limits to this control as demonstrated by the potential for nature to become a trap or pose unforeseen challenges.


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q1. PART A: Which TWO of the following best identify the central themes of this story?
– When violence becomes too common, some people no longer take it seriously.
– Humankind’s place in nature is to act with reason, not to become like violent animals.

Q2. PART B: Which TWO phrases from the text best support the answers to Part A?
– “hunting had ceased to be what you call ‘a sporting proposition.’ It had become too easy. I always got my quarry.’” (Paragraph 95)
– “‘Civilized? And you shoot down men?’” (Paragraph 129)

Q3. Explain how beginning the story with the dialogue between Rainsford and Whitney contributes to both the author’s characterization of Rainsford and the story’s mood. Cite evidence from the story in your response.
Ans: Rainsford is imparting his belief that humans are superior to animals….. that animals don’t know fear…… that they have no feelings. Whitney, however, believes that animals do know fear. Shortly after this conversation, Rainsford learns that his belief in two distinct classes, the hunter and the hunted, isn’t as cut and dry as he believed. Becoming the hunted gives him an entirely different perspective.

Q4. PART A: What does the phrase “sporting proposition” most closely mean as it is used in paragraph 95?
Ans: game-like challenge

Q5. PART B: Which phrase from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “‘It had become too easy. I always got my quarry.’” (Paragraph 94)

Q6. Why does Zaroff think Rainsford is “droll” and “naïve”? (Paragraph 116)
Ans: Zaroff thinks it’s foolish and old-fashioned that Rainsford values human life even after fighting in the war.

Q7. What does Rainsford’s repetition of the word “nerve” in paragraph 169, paragraph 179, and paragraph 197 reveal about his character?
Ans: Rainsford’s repetition shows that it is his courage and ability to reason that enables him to survive.

Q8. How does Rainsford’s opinion on animals change throughout the story?
Ans: At first, Rainsford sees animals only as prizes for human hunters, but later Rainsford sympathizes with the animal “at bay” when he too becomes the hunted (Paragraph 204).

Q9. “He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.” (Paragraph 207) What is the overall effect of the last line of the story?
Ans: The last line leaves the reader to suppose that Rainsford actually likes the comforts of civilization better than nature and that civilization is man’s place above nature.

Q10. Compare Zaroff’s and Rainsford’s points of view on the hunt. How does this tension contribute to the moral stakes of the story? Cite evidence from the story in your response.
Ans: The difference between Zaroff’s perspective and Rainsford’s perspective on the hunt is that even though they both feel that hunting animals is permissible, Rainsford feels that hunting humans is wrong. Zaroff thinks that hunting animals is too easy, because they can’t reason, which is the exact reason Rainsford feels that hunting animals is acceptable. This tension contributes to the moral stakes of the story by making Rainsford have to kill a human, Zaroff, in order to survive which he is morally against. “Then he ran for his life. The hounds raised their voices as they hit the fresh scent. Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay53 feels” One example on Rainsford becoming aware that the tables have turned and that what he hunts may feel exactly what Rainsford feels.


You can find answer keys for other grades here:

=> CommonLit Answers

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In CommonLit, “The Most Dangerous Game” is one of the students’ favorite short stories authored by Richard Connell for grade 9 students.

Inspired by the popular big-game safari tours in Africa and South America during the 1920s, this action-adventure tale stands as the most famous short story by the author.


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