The Interlopers Themes

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Enmity

Ulrich and Georg are enemies who have brought a family feud over a piece of forestland to a murderous point. Since the original court settlement, which ostensibly ended the dispute, members of both families have participated in "poaching affrays and similar scandals." Instead of dissipating over the years, the feud has strengthened throughout the lifetime of Ulrich and Georg, two generations removed from the original disputants. Saki does not reveal why the enmity has strengthened, merely alluding to the "personal ill-will" that exists between the men.

The hatred that each man feels for the other represents larger instances of animosity. At the time that Saki wrote the story, he was serving as a soldier in World War I, a conflict that developed out of inherited ethnic conflicts surrounding land claims that were unable to be satisfied by arbitrary judicial decisions. The drive of European nations to possess territory...

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This section contains 567 words
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The Interlopers from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.