The Interlopers Theme Essay Question

Although Saki’s design is clearly to draw as much suspense and surprise into as narrow a compass as possible, the story itself nevertheless presents abstract themes of justice in the human world and of the human relationship to the natural world.

The most obvious of these themes involves the dissection and final denial of the vendetta mentality that motivates these two figures. The early history of the conflict shows how accidental the hatred between these two men actually is. They inherit a conflict that is not rightly theirs, and it distorts their relationship not only to each other but also—as the reference to the surprise in the marketplace shows—to the community in which they live. Furthermore, the parties of huntsmen and retainers (who never actually appear in the story) represent further ramifications of injustice, wherein the dependents are also caught up in the hatred between the principals, much as the Montagues and Capulets are trapped in the conflict that leads to the death of Romeo and Juliet. The physical blow that levels both men thus paradoxically symbolizes the sudden consciousness of the distortions that the vendetta has caused: Their common plight makes Ulrich and Georg recognize, apparently for the first time, how much they have in common, and thus how much more reasonable friendship would be. Having once seen the world from this new perspective, the two are quick to correct the fundamental distortion of their relationship, and the apparent ease with which hatred and distrust dissolve indicates how insubstantial their former condition was.

The appearance of the wolves, the unexpected “interlopers” of the story’s title, points out the fundamental irony of the tale as a whole and thus touches on the second great theme that the story presents. From this perspective, the story may be said to belong to the school of literary naturalism, in which fundamental natural processes are shown working themselves out in the human world, regardless of human designs or wishes. The essential mistake that Ulrich and Georg make is their assumption that this narrow stretch of almost worthless woodland is somehow theirs to possess in any real sense. They, like their fathers and grandfathers before them, have assumed that legal rights, established in human courts and supported by human institutions, actually establish true dominion over the world of nature.

The fablelike elements of this story show how mistaken such an assumption is. At virtually every turn, the plans of the human characters are thwarted or altered by the different design of the natural world: The best opportunity for settling their vendetta, when no interlopers are present, is cut off by the wind and the falling tree; after their reconciliation, their plans for the future are erased by the advent of the unexpected interlopers. Finally, the wolves themselves symbolize the utter indifference of nature to “important” human disputes and resolutions. The surprise conclusion thus reveals and summarizes this primary theme of literary naturalism with sharply dramatic and terrifying indirection, suggesting in its irony that nature may not be indifferent so much as malicious toward the proud designs of humankind.

In "The Interlopers," the theme is based on a feud between two families. The feud is based on an argument over a strip of forestland. The hatred that has developed because of this feud has become quite serious, with both Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym having murderous thoughts:

Ulrich and Georg are enemies who have brought a family feud over a piece of forestland to a murderous point.

Through the years, the feud has...

In "The Interlopers," the theme is based on a feud between two families. The feud is based on an argument over a strip of forestland. The hatred that has developed because of this feud has become quite serious, with both Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym having murderous thoughts:

Ulrich and Georg are enemies who have brought a family feud over a piece of forestland to a murderous point.

Through the years, the feud has only grown stronger. The theme is based on the hatred or enmity that Ulrich and Georg have one for the other. These two men have allowed their hatred to culminate to a point which now involves serious, dangerous actions. The two enemies are in the woods waiting for the other one to run into the other. With guns in hand, the two men look at each other with murderous thoughts:

The two men face each other with rifles in hand, but neither can bring himself to shoot the other. Before either man can act, a bolt of lighting strikes a tree. It falls over and pins them underneath its limbs.

While pinned beneath the tree, having time to think about their actions, the theme changes to one of understanding. The two enemies decide to put their differences aside. Now that the feud is over, there is only one thing with which to worry--a pack of wolves is heading in their direction.

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *