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

The Interlopers

by Saki

Start Free Trial

Student Question

How does Saki make the surprise ending of "The Interlopers" seem logical?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Georg's and Ulrich's family have been fighting over a piece of land for generations. Ulrich's grandfather wins the land in a lawsuit, but Georg's family continued to poach upon it, regardless of the determination of the court. In a sense, both men have continuously attempted to own and tame the land. This land is in the forest. It is wild. These men have attempted to own, cultivate, and rule over this piece of wild land. They have attempted to regulate the land with their civilized laws and notions of "owning land." But this is nature. It seems illogical to impose a law on something that is inherently wild. So, the "civilized" Georg and Ulrich are the interlopers. They are trying to impose their way of life onto nature itself. 

They've spent their lives fighting each other, each thinking that his opponent is the interloper. But nature (the wolves) show that both men have been interloping on their (wolves') land. So, it is morbid but logical that the true interlopers are exposed in the end. This is a classic story of the hunters becoming the hunted. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial