Some people say that there is a fine line between friendship and enmity. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain using evidence from the text.

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In regards to Saki's short story "The Interlopers ," one could argue that there is certainly a fine line between friendship and enmity. At the beginning of the story, Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz are fierce enemies whose families have been engaged in a bitter land dispute...

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In regards to Saki's short story "The Interlopers," one could argue that there is certainly a fine line between friendship and enmity. At the beginning of the story, Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz are fierce enemies whose families have been engaged in a bitter land dispute for generations. Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz fight over a narrow strip of precipitous woodland in the Carpathians, and both men decide to defend their claim to the land with force during a turbulent, stormy night. Saki emphasizes their ill will and contempt for each other by writing,

Ulrich von Gradwitz patrolled the dark forest in quest of a human enemy [George Znaeym]. (1)

Similar to Ulrich, Georg is also prepared to take his enemy's life if he comes across him in the forest. When the two men meet in the wilderness, lightning suddenly strikes the canopy overhead and a massive beech tree falls onto Ulrich and Georg, trapping them both beneath the heavy branches. Initially, Ulrich and Georg maintain their animosity towards each other. However, time passes, and Ulrich begins to experience a change of heart. Ulrich is the first to initiate a friendly gesture by offering Georg a drink from his flask and saying,

Neighbour, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel I—I will ask you to be my friend. (4)

Georg reciprocates Ulrich's offer by elaborating on how the entire village will be surprised by their friendship and says, "Ulrich von Gradwitz, I will be your friend" (4). By moving past their longstanding feud and accepting each other as friends, Ulrich and Georg prove that there is a fine line between friendship and enmity. However, neither man is able to publicly reveal their newfound friendship because a pack of hungry, menacing wolves arrives.

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