illustration of a wolf standing in the forest looking toward a fallen tree that has pinned a man underneath

The Interlopers

by Saki

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Conflicts in "The Interlopers" and their role in developing the theme

Summary:

The main conflicts in "The Interlopers" are the feud between Ulrich and Georg over land and their eventual struggle against nature when trapped under a fallen tree. These conflicts highlight the futility of human disputes and the power of nature, reinforcing the theme that human conflicts are insignificant in the face of nature's overwhelming force.

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

The two main conflicts in the story are man against man and man against nature. Specifically, the first conflict is Ulrich against Georg. Ulrich legally owns the land that once, three generations ago, was under the control of Georg's family. Georg responds to the generational feud by poaching and hatred; Ulrich responds with equal hatred and guarding against Georg's poaching. This night, Ulrich suspects Georg's poachers are on the land because all the animals are restless and distressed:

The roebuck, which usually kept in the sheltered hollows during a storm-wind, were running like driven things to-night....

The second conflict is Ulrich and Georg both against the fierce winter storm. Its raging, roaring wind sends catastrophe on their heads when a beech branch breaks and crashes on them while they stand face-to-face with raging urges. They both want to end the feud through murder. Now, not only is each man raging in the company of his greatest foes, each is held helplessly captive by the raging storm.

The conflicts are related to each other because Ulrich would not have been out in the storm if Georg hadn't been poaching and distressing all the wildlife, while Georg would not have been poaching had not the court awarded the contested land, which was held in his family's control, to the family of Ulrich three generations earlier. Neither man would have been there in nature—in the forest—if either family or either man had forgiven, ended the feud, and been friends before that night.

[Georg] "We fight this quarrel out to the death, you and I and our foresters, with no cursed interlopers to come between us."

The man against nature conflict is resolved in a shocking way. Saki's surprise ending--which constitutes an end-of-story climax surprise ending--is more of a shock ending, for the horrified gasp it elicits in readers, but it is in the surprise ending that this conflict is resolved.

The man against man conflict is resolved earlier when Ulrich takes pity on Georg's suffering and offers him a drink of wine from his own flask, taken from his coat pocket at great pain. Georg refuses the wine. Nonetheless, Ulrich contemplates the folly of their behavior and offers friendship. After a long thoughtful silence, Georg replies that the "whole region would stare and gabble" if they made a friendship with each other. Georg then says that he has changed his mind, too, and accepts friendship.

[Ulrich] "Neighbour, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel I--I will ask you to be my friend."
[Georg] "I think I have changed my mind about things too, this last half-hour. And you offered me your wine-flask . . . Ulrich von Gradwitz, I will be your friend."

After they together "raised their voices in a prolonged hunting call" to summon their men to find them, Ulrich sees shapes advancing at a run, "making all the speed they can, brave lads." Georg asks, "Are they your men?" Ulrich in an "idiotic chattering laugh" says, "No." The shapes running to them to save them are wolves. The wolves of the shocking surprise ending resolve the man against nature conflict. After triumphing over the man against man conflict by laying down their feud and their hatred and by making friends, these men tragically lose to the power of nature.

   "Are they your men?" asked Georg. "Are they your men?" he repeated impatiently as Ulrich did not answer.
   "No," said Ulrich with a laugh, the idiotic chattering laugh of a man unstrung with hideous fear.
   "Who are they?" asked Georg quickly, straining his eyes to see what the other would gladly not have seen.
   "Wolves."

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

There are two central conflicts in “The Interlopers,” by Saki. The primary conflict, of course, is the rigid obstinacy of the men, Ulrich and Georg, who fight over a narrow strip of land. The conflict is magnified by the fact that neither man really needs the land. Both have larger tracts of land where they can find better populated forests and a greater variety of game. Still, because their families have feuded over the land for generations, they continue to fight one another. This conflict is resolved when the men share a flask after being trapped beneath the fallen trees. They agree to end the feud and make peace. This, however, does nothing to resolve the other conflict.

The second form of conflict is man versus nature. Both men were in a darkened forest in freezing conditions.  Each chose to spend the evening patrolling the small strip of land, hoping to catch the other and accuse him of trespassing. The dark, the cold weather, the storm and the enormous and imprisoning tree reflect nature’s might against the two enemies. The resolution to this conflict came, of course, in the form of hungry wolves that are drawn to the smell of blood. The wolves represent nature’s final blow against the men and the men’s deaths will represent a clear and decisive victory. 

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

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

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

The two main conflicts in the Saki short story "The Interlopers" are man versus man, and man versus nature. The boundary dispute between Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz had been settled by the courts in previous a generations, and yet each successive generation still fought over the land. The most recent generations fought even more zealously over this land despite its lack of merit in that it "...was not remarkable for the game it harboured or the shooting it afforded...," and yet, Georg continued to poach at will. Gradwitz suspected this, and because  this land, "...was the most jealously guarded of all its owner's territorial possessions," he hunted Georg.

The nature of the men is portrayed as beastly in that they both "thirsted for the other's blood." It is this blood lust that brings them face to face during the stormy night when most other beasts of the wood remained hidden. At this point nature interjects and the men find themselves engaged in a life and death struggle of man versus nature. Trapped beneath a tree, both men seem to have a change of heart as they consider how life might be different if they were to become friends. Thus, man versus man is resolved.

Saki leaves resolution of man versus nature up to the inference of the reader. As the men contemplate their rescue, they see shapes running towards them. Drawn by their cries or the scent of their blood--"Wolves." 

Enotes has a great study guide at the following link.

http://www.enotes.com/interlopers

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

Ah, good question. One main conflict is between the representatives of the two feuding families about rights to the land: Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz.

The other main conflict is between these two men and nature (a struggle to survive).

They relate by the way they are resolved: they are about to make relative peace and start a new era (ending the feud one way) when wolves come on them (implying the land itself will put an end to their feud another way: by killing them).

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What are the internal and external conflicts in "The Interlopers"?

There are both external conflicts and internal conflicts in "The Interlopers."

External conflicts:

Ulrich von Gradwitz patrols a narrow strip of woodland where there is much game, the strip of land that has caused a feud between the two families that dates back to their grandfathers. He hopes to discover his enemy, Georg Znaeym, whom he considers a "game snatcher" and a "raider" of this disputed "border forest." Znaeym also thirsts for the blood of von Gradwitz. In their animosity, they both hope that misfortune will strike the other. 

When the men encounter each other in the woodland, "a deed of Nature's violence overwhelmed them both." Lightning strikes a large beech tree, which sends large branches falling upon the two enemies and causes them to be helplessly pinioned beneath this tangle of branches. 

As the men are entrapped by the branches, they resolve their disputes as they put aside their enmity for one another. However, they do not solve their conflicts with nature as wolves approach them before either of their men do. 

Internal conflicts: 

Both von Gradwitz and Znaeym wrestle with their consciences as they lie pinioned under the tangle of branches. Ulrich von Gradwitz begins to feel "a throb of pity" for his enemy. Finally, he offers his flask of wine to Georg Znaeym. Further, he offers friendship to his old enemy by telling him, "I've come to think we've been rather fools....I will ask you to be my friend." After some thought, Znaeym says, "Ulrich von Gradwitz, I will be your friend."

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What are the internal and external conflicts in "The Interlopers"?

The internal conflict in this short story is the disposition of the two lead protagonists and the way that they let their deep-seated rancour fill them and cloud their reason. The introduction to this short story makes it clear that this disagreement is one that has been inherited down through the generations of the two different families and it is one that both characters are obsessed with:

...the dispossessed party hadnever acquiesced in the judgment of the courts, and a long series of poaching affrays and similar scandals had embittered the relationships between the families for three generations. The neighbour feud had grown into a personal one since Ulrich ad come to be head of his family...

It is this feud that causes both characters to be out on such a dark night and it is this feud that leads them into the sticky situation they find themselves in. In many ways, it is their own internal conflict within themselves and their inability to forget and forgive that is more powerful than any external forces, at least until they meet during the course of the story.

The external conflict is provided through the conflict between the Znaeym and von Gradwitz families, but also the conflict between man and nature. The way that a tree falls on them both, crushing them together, and the rather unfortunate ending of the story makes it clear that nature is a far bigger source of potential problems for these two characters, and ultimately results in the downfall of them both.

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What are the internal and external conflicts in "The Interlopers"?

The main external conflict is the long-running feud between the Znaeym and von Gradwitz families. They've been at each other's throats for years, and all because of a remote patch of forest.

This external conflict leads, in turn, to an internal conflict for both men as they lie on the ground, trapped beneath a fallen tree. Somehow they have to put aside their differences and work out a way to escape from their predicament. Thankfully for both men, they're able to do just that, and an astonishing reconciliation is brought about that finally appears to put an end to this long, drawn-out feud.

However, no sooner have they done this than they are faced with yet another external conflict, one that they cannot overcome; and that's how to deal with the imminent arrival of a pack of hungry wolves.

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What are the internal and external conflicts in "The Interlopers"?

The story begins with external conflict. Ulrich and Georg have hated each other all their lives and, since the feud between them is an inherited one, were always destined to hate each other. When they unexpectedly meet face to face, however, the internal conflict begins. They had each felt ready to murder the other, but as Saki wryly observes:

a man who has been brought up under the code of a restraining civilization cannot easily nerve himself to shoot down his neighbor in cold blood.

The external conflict continues as the two men argue, even when trapped beneath a tree, but disappears as Ulrich, after a brief internal struggle, allows his better nature to triumph and shares his wine with Georg. Internal and external conflicts are resolved as the two men agree to be friends. The story then ends with one final external conflict: the oncoming wolves.

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What are the internal and external conflicts in "The Interlopers"?

Saki's short story “The Interlopers” is about two rival landowners who conflict with each other about a strip of forest land that separates their properties. The conflict has become a long feud, with both sides intent on claiming the land. As the story opens, Ulrich von Gradwitz owns the disputed land, and he is out looking for his enemy, Georg Znaeym, who he suspects of poaching and trespassing.

A summary should also include some of the background Saki gave about the families involved, and also the surprise ending.

The external conflict in this story is easy to identify. Ulrich and Georg are in conflict with each other over the land. In the story, this conflict intensifies when the men meet each other in the wilderness. Saki describes it thus:

The two enemies stood glaring at one another for a long silent moment. Each had a rifle in his hand, each had hate in his heart and murder uppermost in his mind.

This is man vs. man external conflict.

Once the tree falls and traps these men, they threaten each other. Ulrich then takes a drink from his flask of wine, and the following happens:

the wine was warming and reviving to the wounded man, and he looked across with something like a throb of pity to where his enemy lay, just keeping the groans of pain and weariness from crossing his lips.

This indicates internal conflict. Ulrich begins to feel sorry for his hated enemy, so much so that he offers him some of his wine, which Georg accepts. To get to this point, Ulrich has to go through a change of heart, which involves self-reflection. Saki does not describe this internal conflict in great detail, but we know it has to be there.

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How does conflict develop the theme in The Interlopers?

Ulrich is patrolling the narrow stretch of land on his border. This is land that George continues to use as hunting grounds. This quarrel began with a land dispute between their grandfathers. They have essentially inherited the feud from them. What was once a legal matter has now become personal. And the land over which they argue is basically worthless. It doesn't have much game to hunt. So they are fighting over a piece of land simply because their families have fought over it for generations. This conflict is absurd because it is a conflict for the sake of conflict (or for the sake of tradition). They have been taught to hate one another, all for the sake of a useless piece of land: 

The feud might, perhaps, have died down or been compromised if the personal ill will of the two men had not stood in the way; as boys they had thirsted for one another’s blood, as men each prayed that misfortune might fall on the other . . . 

This conflict develops the theme that hatred breeds more hatred. It takes an act of goodwill to break the cycle. Had one or both of these men stopped to consider how pointless their feud had become, the hatred would have died. Even when they are pinned under the tree, they continue their threats. But finally, Ulrich makes the first effort. It takes one gesture (the offering of the wine, perhaps symbolic of the Last Supper) to break the tradition of hatred. 

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What is the central conflict of "The Interlopers"?

The central conflict in the story is between Ulrich and Georg over a virtually worthless piece of land. It is an example of a man versus man conflict. Their conflict with each other is as a result of a family feud that reaches back through generations over this boundary line between each man's land. They hate each other so much that they strike out at night to go "hunting", but each is looking for the other to kill him and finally take the land for his own.

The other conflict in the story is man versus nature when each man is pinned beneath the same tree that has fallen during a storm because it was struck by lightning. Neither man can reach the other no can either one free himself from the tree.

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What is the central conflict of "The Interlopers"?

The central conflict in this story is the hatred between Georg and Ulrich.  Their families have been fighting for generations and this fight has turned into a deep seeded, intense hatred.  At the beginning of the story, both are out hunting the other down ready to kill in cold blood.  The conflict is resolved when the trapped men make peace with each other.  Unfortunately, they find their peace-making has come to late when they spot wolves at the end.

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What is the central conflict of "The Interlopers"?

The two main conflicts in "The Interlopers" are between Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym, who clash over the ownership of the land, and between the two men and nature, when they are lost in the storm.


They relate because nature, in the form of wolves that come to kill them, resolves the first conflict by killing the men. (Technically, this is only implied, not stated, but it is strongly implied.)

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