Describe each of the characters in "The Interlopers."  

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ulrich comes from a line of wealthy landowners. As his ancestors did, he guards his land zealously and has a particular animosity towards Georg Znaeym. Georg comes from a line of small landowners. Like his ancestors, he still poaches on Ulrich's land even thought a lawsuit had been settled, giving the land to Ulrich and his family. Ulrich's and Georg's families have been feuding over this land for three generations. So, we can say that both men are stubborn in upholding this tradition of fighting over land. 

Note that the land is not valuable in terms of hunting. " . . . the narrow strip of precipitous woodland that lay on its outskirt was not remarkable for the game it harbored or the shooting it afforded . . ." This highlights how pointless the feud continues to be. The men are trapped by their stubbornness and perhaps by a twisted sense of loyalty to their predecessors who feuded as well. 

As fate has it, the two men are poised to kill each other, but they hesitate: 

But a man who has been brought up under the code of a restraining civilization cannot easily nerve himself to shoot down his neighbor in cold blood and without a word spoken, except for an offense against his hearth and honor. 

This hesitation suggests a slight remnant of reason in both men. When they become trapped under the tree, they still swear to kill one another. But after assessing the situation and perhaps considering his own mortality, Ulrich offers Georg a drink. This is the first friendly gesture that has occurred between these two men. Georg refuses at first. But when Ulrich promises to set him free if his (Ulrich's) men arrive first, Georg finally returns the gesture and the men become friends.

They begin as sworn enemies, too stubborn to break from the tradition of the feud. But in a situation in which they both contemplate dying (together), they are able to overcome their feud. They needed to be forced into a predicament like this in which they could either bond or continue to be enemies.