The feud between the grandfathers of Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym caused the hatred of the two grandsons for one another. The effect of that feud, which was the result of a lawsuit over land ownership, was the deaths of Gradwitz and Znaeym. This, of course, is the main cause and effect relationship within the story. However, there are other, less significant examples of cause and effect evident within the plot. For example, the storm that took place as Gradwitz and Znaeym faced one another was the cause of the beech tree's fall, which trapped the two men with no hope of freeing themselves. The fact that each of the two men, who had
been brought up under the code of a restraining civilization cannot easily nerve himself to shoot down his neighbor in cold blood and without word spoken, except for an offense against his hearth and honor,
hesitated in shooting one another led to their entrapment and, ultimately, their deaths.