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The Interlopers

by Saki

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Does Ulrich hope to encounter Georg alone in the forest in "The Interlopers"?

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Yes, Ulrich does in fact hope to come across Georg Znaeym in the forest. Saki makes this point when he reveals Ulrich's thoughts in the words: "If only on this wild night, in this dark, lone spot, he [Ulrich] might come across Georg Znaeym, man to man." Since these words are Saki's representation of Ulrich's inner thoughts, we can understand from this that Ulrich does want to come across Georg alone in the forest that night. There are several reasons for why Ulrich wants this.

  • Ulrich and Georg dislike each other and have what Saki describes as "personal ill-will" between them. This means they each want harm to befall the other.
  • Saki writes that as boys they had murderous feelings for each other and that as men they continually hope for misfortune to befall the other.
  • On the stormy, "wind-scourged winter night" of the story, Ulrich is especially incensed against Georg because the animals that usually are peaceful during the night and sheltered in a storm are running wildly in terror, like "driven things." Ulrich blames Georg's poaching for disturbing the sheltering quietude of the forest: "Assuredly there was a disturbing element in the forest, and Ulrich could guess the quarter from whence it came."

Ulrich von Gradwitz patrolled the dark forest in quest of a human enemy. . . The roebuck, which usually kept in the sheltered hollows during a storm-wind, were running like driven things to-night, and there was movement and unrest among the creatures that were wont to sleep through the dark hours.

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