The Interlopers by Saki

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What are the two main conflicts in "The Interlopers"? How are they related and how are they resolved?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The two main conflicts in "The Interlopers" are interconnected in ironic ways. First of all, the long-standing conflict that exists between the two men, Ulrich and Georg, takes the form of a bitter family feud over issues of land and ownership. The second conflict is between the two men and the wolves who appear on the horizon, a manifestation of nature.

These two conflicts, the first involving man v. man and the second involving man v. nature, are related in their pointlessness. Ulrich and Georg are involved in a terrible argument that has nothing to do with their own personal preferences; the conflict originated years before they ever got involved, and so their continuation of the conflict is unnecessary. When the two men become trapped by the tree, another manifestation of nature, they reconcile, but their reconciliation comes too late; the wolves are sure to kill them, which makes even their mutual forgiveness pointless because their families will never learn of their peacemaking.

The conflicts are certainly resolved, but the resolutions are far from satisfactory. The men forgive each other and resolve their conflict interpersonally, just in time for nature to take control and render the men's resolution insignificant.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this story, I think that the main conflicts are

  1. the conflict between the two main characters, Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym
  2. the conflict between these two men, on the one hand, and nature on the other.

The conflict between the two men is an old one that is based on a dispute about whose land it is.  This one is resolved by them deciding to be friendly to each other after the tree has fallen on them.

This conflict relates to the other because the first conflict causes them to be out on this stormy night and that's when the tree falls on them.

The other conflict is not resolved so nicely.  It seems to be resolved by the wolves eating the men.  (We don't see this, but it seems the likely outcome...)

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