What are the two main conflicts in the Saki short story "The Interlopers?" How are they related, and how are they resolved?

1 Answer | Add Yours

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The two main conflicts in the Saki short story "The Interlopers" are man versus man, and man versus nature. The boundary dispute between Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz had been settled by the courts in previous a generations, and yet each successive generation still fought over the land. The most recent generations fought even more zealously over this land despite its lack of merit in that it "...was not remarkable for the game it harboured or the shooting it afforded...," and yet, Georg continued to poach at will. Gradwitz suspected this, and because  this land, "...was the most jealously guarded of all its owner's territorial possessions," he hunted Georg.

The nature of the men is portrayed as beastly in that they both "thirsted for the other's blood." It is this blood lust that brings them face to face during the stormy night when most other beasts of the wood remained hidden. At this point nature interjects and the men find themselves engaged in a life and death struggle of man versus nature. Trapped beneath a tree, both men seem to have a change of heart as they consider how life might be different if they were to become friends. Thus, man versus man is resolved.

Saki leaves resolution of man versus nature up to the inference of the reader. As the men contemplate their rescue, they see shapes running towards them. Drawn by their cries or the scent of their blood--"Wolves." 

Enotes has a great study guide at the following link.


We’ve answered 317,972 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question