The Interlopers by Saki

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In what ways does Saki play with the readers' expectations in the story "The Interlopers"? In other words, how does the action in the story follow or not follow the expectations created by the...

In what ways does Saki play with the readers' expectations in the story "The Interlopers"?

In other words, how does the action in the story follow or not follow the expectations created by the setting?

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This is an excellent question. One aspect of literature in which Saki excels is the surprise ending, and this short story is certainly no exception. Saki employs situational irony to devastating effect, letting his two main characters experience a shocking reversal of fortunes, completely the opposite of what we have been led to expect as readers.

Let us consider how he achieves this. We are presented with two sworn enemies who, perhaps rather ironically, are trapped together under the same tree. As each waits for their henchmen to arrive and cut them lose, they begin to tell the other what will happen:

"When my men come to release us, you will wish, perhaps, that you were in a better plight than caught poaching on a neighbour's land,...

(The entire section contains 406 words.)

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