In what ways does Saki play with the reader's expectations in this story? In other words, how does the action in the story follow or not follow the expectations created by the setting?

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mattbuckley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Saki certainly misleads the reader to believe and expect a certain ending and then give them something completely different. The setting is set up in the wilderness on a chunk of land that separates the properties of the two families. This is the disputed land that has kept the feud going for generations. It is also this land that traps the two together, where they are forced to talk. So essentially, the land has brought them together where they end their feud. However, it is also this same land that harbours the wolves that end up killing them. The story leads the reader, with its use of setting to expect them to be free. Instead, Saki has this land kill them.