How did the Gradwitzes receive all the land they have?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Gradwitz family attains the narrow stretch of steep, precipitous land in a "famous lawsuit," which took place in the days of Ulrich von Gradwitz's grandfather. Apparently, Ulrich von Gradwitz's grandfather had legally won the territorial dispute from the illegal possession of their neighbors, the Znaeym family. Following the lawsuit and court ruling, the Znaeym family refused to acknowledge the verdict and continued to claim that they owned the narrow stretch of disputed property. Georg Znaeym inherited the land dispute, and the feud was passed down through both families. The Gradwitz family considers the Znaeym family to be "petty landowners," and the two families utterly despise one another. On a winter night, Ulrich von Gradwitz and his band of hunters explore the disputed territory in hopes of finding any member of the Znaeym family illegally hunting on their lands. When Ulrich von Gradwitz comes face-to-face with Georg Znaeym, nature intervenes and a massive tree falls and traps both men.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Gradwitzes have attained their lands through a series of lawsuits.

Two generations before the present-day of the setting of "The Interlopers," Ulrich von Gradwitz, there were cases heard in the Courts which awarded Grandfather Gradwitz land taken from the Znaeyms. Nevertheless, the neighboring family of what the Gradwitzes has long considered "petty landowners" never accepted the rulings; consequently, they have continued to trespass and hunt on the land and cut trees and roam this property. 

As the story begins, Gradwitz searches for Georg Znaeym who has been trespassing upon the Gradwitz property and committing several violations such as snatching game and trespassing. In fact, his hatred for Znaeym is so deep that Gradwitz patrols his land for the "forest-thief" in order to be able to kill his mortal enemy. Perhaps because of the nature of the case and the Court rulings, the enmity between the two men is vituperative.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial