What makes Gradwitz start to behave differently?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Ulrich von Gradwitz is upset because Georg Zaenym has no respect for the fact that Gradwitz has legal right to the narrow strip of land that is filled with wild game for hunting. Georg continues to hunt on Ulrich's personal property. This infuriates Ulrich von Gradwitz. He becomes obsessed with hunting Georg down to kill him.

On this particular night, Gradwitz gathers a group of his men in order to hunt down Georg:

On this fateful evening, Ulrich gathers a group of foresters to patrol the land in search of Georg. Separated from his men, he hopes to meet Georg alone and, when he steps around a tree trunk, he gets his wish. The two men face each other with rifles in hand, but neither can bring himself to shoot the other.

Gradwitz is tired of Georg trespassing on his land. He is determined to stop Georg from hunting on his land. Gradwitz is seriously contemplating killing Georg. However, once he finds himself face to face with Georg, Gradwitz hesitates about shooting Georg. Lightening strikes a tree and pins Georg and Gradwitz, ultimately saving Georg's life.

Ironically, Gradwitz and Georg have time to think about the foolishness of their feud. They decide to become friends, at Gradwitz' suggestion. Gradwitz realizes that he is just as helpless as Georg is. During this time, while both men are pinned, Gradwitz has a change of heart. He decides that the feud should end. While being pinned, Gradwitz felt hopeless. He sensed that the feud had gone on long enough. Georg agreed with Gradwitz. As they put their feud to an end, figures are coming toward them. Thinking this is the rescue team, Georg is relieved. Gradwitz can see more clearly from his angle. It is a pack of wolves coming toward them.

Gradwitz may have had a change of heart a little too late.

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