What is the inciting event in "The Interlopers" by Saki?

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Short Answer:
In a short story, the opening event is often cited as the inciting event as it introduces a conflict or problem. In Saki's short story "The Interlopers" the incident that generates a problem is the confrontation of the two mortal enemies, Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym.

 _____________

Two generations ago a narrow strip of woodland was reclaimed by the von Gradwitz family from a nearby family named Znaeym, who had taken it illegally. Now it is guarded assiduously by Ulrich von Gradwitz, who patrols it.

...a long series of poaching affrays and similar scandals had embittered the relationships between the families for three generations.

Now, since Ulrich has become head of the family there is a personal and heated enmity between the two men because Znaeym has been poaching. If it were not for this personal hatred the feud might have ended, but it has been exacerbated by the two men's ill will toward each other. On this night, von Gradwitz knows there has been some game taken and he strays from his men hidden in the area in the hope of finding his enemy all alone. As he creeps around the trunk of a huge beech tree, he comes face to face with Znaeym. Just as they are frozen at that moment, staring at each other, both hesitate. There is a splitting crash from the sky and the men are trapped under the broken brush.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,996 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question