“Georg, who was blinded with the blood which trickled across his eyes, stopped his struggling for a moment to listen, and then gave a short, snarling laugh.” Symbolically, what’s interesting...

“Georg, who was blinded with the blood which trickled across his eyes, stopped his struggling for a moment to listen, and then gave a short, snarling laugh.” Symbolically, what’s interesting about this line from "The Interlopers"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What is interesting about this line is the fact that Georg, who was "blinded with the blood which trickled across his eyes," is also symbolically blinded to the offer of kindness by Ulrich because of his hatred for the man with whom he is engaged in a literal blood feud, or longstanding feud between two families.

This longstanding feud of three generations between the von Gradwitz and the Znaeym families began with "a famous lawsuit" which awarded a strip of forest to Ulrich von Gradwitz's grandfather. However, the other party, the Znaeyms, "a neighboring family of petty landowners," never accepted the ruling and have continued to come onto the land and partake of "a long series of poaching affrays." Embittered disputes over these property quarrels have resulted in this blood feud.

When Ulrich offers his flask of warm wine to his old enemy, Georg Znaeym, somewhat blinded by blood dripping in his eyes, is even more blinded by his hatred. He refuses the gracious offer of his foe, who is willing to forget their feud in a moment of life-threatening disaster for them both.

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