Throughout the short story "The Interlopers," how is the central idea of friendship and revenge developed within the men's transformation?

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The conversion from vengeful enemies to gracious compadres in Saki's "The Interlopers" seems to develop quickly and before the reader's eyes, as the narrator describes the characters' reasonings for this change. In the beginning, Ulrich is angrily stalking his sworn enemy, Georg, for allegedly poaching on his land. However, the feud between their families had been ongoing for three generations, and so their hate seems to be inherited instead of springing from personal interactions between them.

When Ulrich and Georg finally meet up, they simultaneously fall victim to the same predicament—getting stuck under a fallen tree. At first, they compete over whose men will get there first to kill the other. However, soon their shared suffering breeds understanding between them. After drinking some wine, Ulrich finds clarity and is able to feel empathy for Georg and his suffering. He realizes that they have been fighting over things that don't matter:

"We have quarrelled like devils all our lives over this stupid strip of forest, where the trees can’t even stand upright in a breath of wind. Lying here to- night thinking I’ve come to think we’ve been rather fools; there are better things in life than getting the better of a boundary dispute."

This first attempt to make peace changes Georg's heart as well, who dreams about what it would be like if two enemies were seen together as friends and the positive effect it would have on the rest of the town. They then join forces and start yelling for help together, knowing that no matter whose men show up, they will both be saved. Although the ending has an ironic twist, it has a strong moral of men becoming friends in times of shared hardship or suffering, when they are able to relate to each other.

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Saki provides several details that mark the transformation of the men from revenge-seeking enemies to peace-seeking friends. The first detail can be identified in Ulrich's feeling of pity for Georg that inspires him to make a sudden offer of wine to his enemy. Though Georg responds badly to Ulrich's attempt at peace, the narrator of the story reports that Ulrich's animosity begins to ease. The second detail that marks the transformation is Ulrich's speech to Georg, which ends with his offer of friendship and Georg's ensuing silence; these quiet moments are full of tension as the reader waits to see how Georg will react to Ulrich. His acceptance of the gesture of friendship and his acknowledgement of the wine are gracious. The third detail that confirms the transformation is the silent prayer both men make, as described by the narrator, each wishing to be the first to demonstrate their new friendship with action, action that can be witnessed and reported later to others.

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