In the story "The Interlopers" does the narrator reveal the thoughts and feelings of the two men?

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The narrator of Saki's "The Interlopers" reveals both thoughts and feelings of the two feuding men, Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym by using indirect characterization.

In the exposition of the story, von Gradwitz patrols his forest for his enemy, Znaeym, who he feels is out on this night:

Ulrich von Gradwitz patrolled the dark forest in quest of a human enemy (von Gradwitz's feelings)

...as boys they had thirsted for one another’s blood, as men each prayed that misfortune might fall on the other (feelings of both men)

As he steals through the woods, von Gradwitz thinks,  

If only on this wild night, in this dark, lone spot, he might come across Georg Znaeym....

Then as he moves slowly around the trunk of a massive beech tree, he suddenly finds himself face to face with his enemy. But, the civilized men hesitate for a moment, and in that instant, lightning strikes the tree, pinioning the men beneath heavy branches.

Relief at being alive and exasperation...brought a strange medley of pious thank offerings and sharp curses to Ulrich’s lips. Georg, who was nearly blinded with the blood which trickled across his eyes,... gave a short, snarling laugh. “So you’re not killed...caught fast. Ho, what a jest, Ulrich von Gradwitz snared in his stolen forest. There’s real justice for you!” (feelings and thoughts of both)

"Both men spoke with the bitterness of possible defeat before them" as they each threaten the other with what will occur when their own men catch up. But, after they remain imprisoned together for a time, von Gradwitz finally frees his arm enough to unscrew the flask he has brought with him; he offers Znaeym a drink, who says he cannot reach it, “and in any case I don’t drink wine with an enemy.” Ulrich keeps quiet for a while; then, he has a change of heart. Calling Znaeym "Neighbor" Ulrich states that if his men arrive first, he will have Georg treated as a guest, observing that they have been foes too long. After hearing this, Znaeym is silent for a long time, but when he does speak, he remarks at how

"...the whole region would stare and gabble if we rode into the market square together."

The two men thus resolve their feud and pledge their friendship to each other. Unfortunately, fate plays a hand in their plans.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,916 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question