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Gabby Fowlkes


English I

22 May 2017

Antisocial Personality Disorder

One in twenty-five americans suffer from mental disorders that affect their daily lives and

activities.(NationalAllianceOnMentalIllness) Throughout history, mental illnesses have not been fully

explored and cured correctly, leading to many people suffering without help. General Zaroff is an

example of someone who suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder, which has no cure. Resulting from

this, he isolates himself from society and channels his violence through hunting. This behavior is just one

of the many symptoms someone can exhibit from having Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Manipulation and arrogance is prominent in individuals that suffer from Antisocial Personality

Disorder (ASPD). This is a disorder that causes someone to not be able to control their violence, act on

impulse rather than reason, lie and manipulate people, and have no remorse for others.(MayoClinic)

Shown by his vast knowledge about hunting and animal behavior, General Zaroff is well known as a very

intelligent man. But his knowledge on this topic is so great that he thinks he can outsmart anyone or

anything. When asked by Rainsford in a conversation about his preferred animal to hunt, he simply

responded "No animal had a chance with me any more. (Connell) This level of overconfidence in his
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hunting abilities proves that he is arrogant and full of himself. His love for hunting and killing animals

could be a potential side effect for this disorder.

Having a passion for hunting and killing animals is very common in individuals with

ASPD. A link between the treatment of animals and people with ASPD has been discovered proving that

in cases of younger children that often mistreated animals were more likely to be diagnosed with the

disorder later in life. (PsychologyToday) As the General talked about a few times in the story, he had

enjoyed hunting with his father for a young age. In children that have had a violent or abusive history

with animals, conduct disorder is usually diagnosed in their adolescent age. (MayoClinic) As the subject

ages, the disorder could either get better or worse, but in this case with General Zaroff, it has gotten

worse. He continued his hunting career, killing a significant amount of animals without a blink of an eye.

When telling Rainsford about the new game he had created after being bored of animals, he could say

nothing more than, "Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder." (Connell) His

lack of remorse and no feeling toward human life is prevalent in their conversation. Zaroff does not have

a problem with killing innocent men and even would have liked to open his ideas to other fellow hunters.

Due to his attraction to hunting and killing animals, ASPD is a likely role in his mental health.

Despite the evidence against General Zaroff having Antisocial Personality Disorder, many

believe that General Zaroff is suffering from Schizophrenia but they fail to see that he does not make up

what he sees and is actually very intelligent and is a very capable human being. Those who think that

General Zaroff has schizophrenia think that he has made up all of the people on the island and imagines

them as animals rather than human beings. Although aspects of this argument are enticing, it ultimately
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fails to be a stronger argument because his personality has many similar factors to the list of symptoms

that are associated with ASPD. It could be argued that General Zaroff could have been misdiagnosed with

this disorder, as are 1 in 20 people year round. (MedicalNewsToday)

General Zaroff has Antisocial Personality Disorder because he is manipulative, arrogant,

and fails to have remorse for others. Individuals who have this disorder are often misunderstood

and not taken seriously. Due to their being no treatment for this disorder, the ones who suffer can

not get the help they need in order to better themselves. If everyone keeps an open mind and are

willing to help understand what is going on, more can be done to find a better treatment plan.

The word mental disorder can scare and cause people to judge someone without even meeting

them, but this word means so much more. Mental disorders can cause people to act in ways they

cant control, and just because they cant control it, doesnt mean they arent great people.
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Works Cited

"NAMI." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2017.

Bekoff, Marc. "Animal Cruelty and Antisocial Behavior: A Very Strong Link." Psychology Today.

Sussex Publishers, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 14 May 2017.



"Antisocial Personality Disorder Symptoms." Psych Central. N.p., 17 July 2016. Web. 04

May 2017.

The New York Times. The New York Times, n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.

"Antisocial personality disorder." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education

and Research, 02 Apr. 2016. Web. 04 May 2017.

"Antisocial Personality Disorder Related Diseases & Conditions." Medicinenet.com.

N.p., 03 May 2017. Web. 04 May 2017.

Aspa. "Mental Health Myths and Facts." Mental Health Myths and Facts |

MentalHealth.gov. Department of Health and Human Services, 14 Mar. 2013.

Web. 09 May 2017.

Alegria, A. A., C. Blanco, N. M. Petry, A. E. Skodol, S. M. Liu, B. Grant, and D. Hasin.

"Sex differences in antisocial personality disorder: results from the National

Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions." Personality

disorders. U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2013. Web. 10 May 2017.

Whiteman, Honor. "1 in 20 American adults 'misdiagnosed in outpatient clinics each

year'" Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 17 Apr. 2014. Web. 10

May 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275565.php>.