So·cial Dar·win·ism- the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subjected to the same laws of natural selection as plants and animals.Social Darwinism is a term used in the late 19th century created by Charles Darwin to describe the idea that humans, animals and plants compete in a struggle for existence which results in “survival of the fittest”.Even though the term is named after Charles Darwin, the term is also associated with Herbert Spencer.In the short story the Most Dangerous Game Richard Connell clearly uses Social Darwinism.
Social Darwinism is used in many spots in the short story The Most Dangerous Game.In one point of the short story Rainsford and General Zaroff are having a conversation andZaroff states “Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong”.(Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game).This quote is an example of social darwinism because it gives the idea that only the strong should live and if needed taken over by the strong.
Another example of Social Darwinism is at the beginning of the story.In the beginning of the story Rainsford is talking to Whitney about hunting.Rainsford states “The world is made up of two classes–the hunters and the huntees” (Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game).Rainsford believes that animals only feel the fear of pain and the fear of death.This quote also shows Social Darwinism because Rainsford believes that there is only one race that should live and the other parish; one winner and one loser.
My last example of Social Darwinism is towards the beginning of the story.This quote is from another conversation of General Zaroff and Rainsford.In this quote Zaroff states “I hunt the scum of the earth: sailors from tramp ships–lassars, blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels–a thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them” (Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game).In this quote General Zaroff believes that he is higher-up or more important than other races and that a thoroughbred horse or hound are more important or higher-up than a person of another race than himself. He does not even feel remorse after killing, he just hangs their heads in his room and thinks of them like trophies.
In summation the short story the Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell clearly uses social darwinism.Social Darwinism is the thought process that individuals, groups, and peoples are subjected to the same laws of natural selection as plants and animals; Social Darwinism is also known as “Survival of the Fittest”.There are many examples of Social Darwinism that are used in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell.Social Darwinism applies that not everyone is equal, but really everyone is; there is no greater race everyone is one with each other.
Allen, Janet. “The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell.” McDougal Littell Literature. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2008. 54-74. Print.
Bannister, Robert C. “Social Darwinism.” Social Darwinism. Microsoft® Encarta®, 2000. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.