The Interlopers


Creating The Atmosphere in The Interlopers By Saki

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer


You are hunting in the woods at night and alone. As you search for a beast to kill, you suddenly come across your most hated enemy, hunting on your very own grounds right in front of your eyes. As both of you glare at each other with rifles in hand, a large tree crashes down and traps both of you with no hope of freeing yourself. While you wait for your men to come, you and your enemy still trash talk each other and threaten each other’s blood. After some time of waiting, you realize that you should just become friends with your long-hated enemy and make the rivalry history. You propose your plan to your enemy and he agrees! Both of you talk about the great things that you can do together that you never had the chance until now, then you see figures coming down and you have a glimmer of hope that they are your men, but then you notice that they are wolves and they eat you and your ex-rival both.

That is exactly what happened in the short story, “The Interlopers” and the two characters in the story didn’t really have a happy ending. In this essay, I will talk about the foreshadowing, the obvious situational irony, and lastly, I will write about the setting and why the setting is important to the story.


Firstly, I will talk about the foreshadowing used in this story and give good examples. At the start of the story, it says: “Ulrich von Gradwitz patrolled the dark forest in quest of a human enemy.” – Page 82 Line 7. Already, I knew that this story will end with blood spilled with someone dying because Ulrich is in the dark woods alone with a rifle hunting. Then right after it says, ” had wrested it from the illegal possession of a neighboring family of petty landowners.” – Page 82 Line 15. From my knowledge, some wars start when there are land disputes and wars always end bloodily. This was another reason why I knew someone will die or get seriously injured. The last use of foreshadowing that I spotted was when the tree fell on both of them, “a mass of falling beech tree had thundered down on them.” – Page 84 Line 58. This line already made me a bit suspicious because what are the odds of a random tree falling on you and your enemy both. I had a thought that both of them will die under this tree which proved to be right when the wolves come and most likely kill them. The author uses foreshadowing really well but he kind of gave it away too much about what will happen.


Secondly, I will talk about the situational irony in “The Interlopers”. The irony in this story is pretty noticeable near the end. Just when Ulrich and Znaeym meet each other on page 83, line 46: “The two enemies stood glaring at each other for a long silent moment.” Ok, this was the part where they both met and the irony does not start yet. Then a short time late, a tree falls on them and traps them both which the irony starts here because two rivals are forced to be trapped together. Then they decide to become friends, “Neighbour, if you will help me bury the old quarrel, I will ask you to be my friend.”-Page 86 line 146. Both talks about the great things they can do together since both now are friends and the author should’ve seriously ended the story here with their men coming to save them. But then the author decides to use some situational irony and make wolves come and kill them both right after they become friends after years of rivalry. Both Ulrich and Znayem accomplished something good, but they both ended up dying right after sadly. That is the use of situational irony in the story and it was very easy to spot.


Lastly, I will write a description of the setting of the story and say why the setting is important. Just when the story starts, it says: “the creatures that won’t go to sleep during the dark hours.” – Page 83 line 35. That gives the story a more dark vibe which already the story takes place in the woods in the middle of the night. Already the setting sounds pretty scary and the author also writes what the characters hear, ” Skirling of the wind and the restless beating of the branches for sight or sound of the marauders.” That makes the setting sound more sketchy which is exactly what the author wanted to do. I would’ve peed my pants if I was Ulrich already but the really terrifying part was when Znaymen emerges out of nowhere but thankfully I was brought back to reality and kept on reading. The author uses the setting to create a more dark and scary theme which does contribute to the end. Then this was this blink of happiness when the two enemies strike a deal and become friends but the author decides to make wolves appear. Already the setting was scary and now the wolves come AND the author doesn’t even tell us if the wolves kill them, which makes the story really suspense because we readers demand to know what actually happened. All I can say that the author did a really good job of making the setting dark because it really helped the story and the author kind of overkilled it by at the end when making wolves appear.


So in conclusion, in this essay, I talked about the use of foreshadowing, the situational irony, and the use of the setting to make the story darker. Foreshadowing, when the author uses disputes, rivalry, and the tree crashing down. The situational irony, when both men become friends and suddenly wolves come and kill them. Then the setting which he described it as really dark and scary to help the story sound more “terrifying”. The moral of this story is: If you have an enemy, become friends with your enemy any chance you get. Or you will end up like these poor souls in “The Interlopers”. This story was really great and suspenseful to read and I will be very interested to read more works from this author. (Nevermind, he died in 1916)

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Developing Surprise in The Interlopers

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer


Imagine how uneventful a book would be without some type of suspense or surprise. How is it possible for authors to ensure they create such responses from their audience? The British fiction writer Hector Hugh Munro, also known by his pen name “Saki”, was known for featuring surprise endings in his narratives. Authors tend to use structural elements of suspense and literary devices together to create an effective surprise ending. Saki utilizes suspense, textual structure, and pacing to develop the element of surprise in his narrative “The Interlopers”.


Saki implements suspense to cause a surprising response from the readers of “The Interlopers”. Saki does this best by the verbal conflicts in the plot. In the story, the main characters are bickering and almost threatening each other over what their men will do to them when they arrive to release them from under the tree. In paragraph 7 the character Ulrich states, “When my men come to release us you will wish, perhaps, that you were in a better plight than caught poaching on a neighbor’s land, shame on you.” In this quote, Saki can create suspense because it shows the extremity of the character’s conflict. In paragraph 7 the other character Georg states, “I have men, too, in the forest tonight, close behind me, and THEY will be here first… it won’t need much clumsiness on their part to roll this mass of trunk right over on the top of you.” These two quotes create suspense in the text because of how unsure it makes the audience of what may happen next. This further assists in the effectiveness of the surprise ending.

Textual Structure

Saki also uses textual structure in the text “The Interlopers” to develop the element of surprise. Saki’s story has a narrative structure which means that it is a literary element that uses a structural framework to present the plot and setting of a narrative.


Saki lastly utilizes pacing to surprise the readers of “The Interlopers”. Pacing is moving a story at a certain speed. Saki uses fast pacing when both men are trying to figure out who is approaching. The dialogue in paragraph 28 sates, “”They are making all the speed they can, brave lads,’ said Ulrich gladly. ‘Are they your men?’ asked Georg. ‘Are they your men?”” In this quote, the characters are using rapid dialogue when trying to communicate about whose men are approaching. This fast pacing creates can create an anxious emotion in the reader. This then can lead to a more effective surprise ending.


In the end, Saki best uses suspense, textual structure, and pacing to produce a surprise ending in his narrative “The Interlopers”. If the audience is always was able to detect what will happen in a narrative then the story can lose its impact. Sometimes leaving the audience to envision the story as something different.

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“The Interlopers” and “The Lottery” Comparative Essay

January 11, 2019 by Essay Writer

In the short stories “The Lottery” and “The Interlopers,” the authors Shirley Jackson and Saki (respectively) use pacing, text structure, and strong moods to build suspense. Through the use of the literary elements mentioned above, the reader is left surprised at the end of both stories. The authors might not have used the literary elements in entirely similar ways, but they have the same effect on each story: causing anticipation for the reader. Through the use of pacing, the authors are able to develop their stories and cause suspense, as the surprise endings of their tales draw near.

From the very first sentence in the book “The Lottery,” Jackson sets the pacing of the book for the reader by saying, “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green”. Throughout the book, the author never strays from the painfully slow pace thus creating anxiety within the reader to figure out what the lottery is and why it is important. While Shirley Jackson creates suspense by keeping a slow pacing, Saki creates suspense and tension by increasing the pace of the book as more action happens. Although the author’s use of pacing creates tension and suspense, the author’s structure of text also creates suspense.

The authors of “The Lottery” and “The Interlopers” also use the structure of the text to build their stories. Through character development, both authors show how the characters’ life affects what happens. For example. In “The Interlopers” the structure of text develops the characters by showing there has been a lasting rivalry between the Gadwitz and Znaeym families, it also creates tension because it shows that the rivalry has lasted a very long time. This is shown in the second paragraph when Saki writes, “A famous lawsuit, in the days of his grandfather, had wrestled it from the illegal possession of the neighboring family of petty landowners; the dispossessed party had never acquiesced in the judgement of the courts, and a long series of poaching affrays and similar scandals had embittered the relations between the families.” The quote indicates why the Gadwitz and Znaeym families dislike each other which sets off a chain reaction of events taking place in the book.

While Saki uses character development, Shirley Jackson uses chronological order so the reader can get all the details of the lottery and what it is. Jackson describes the procedure of the lottery without actually telling what it is when she says, “There was a great deal of fussing to be done before Mr. Summers declared the lottery open. There were the lists to make up–of heads of families. heads of households in each family. members of each household in each family. There was the proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster, as the official of the lottery.” By saying what happens without actually saying what happens makes the reader anxious to find out the purpose of the lottery. In addition to pacing, and structure of the text, the author uses the mood to create suspense and tension.

In the stories “The Lottery” and “The Interlopers,” both authors’ uses of mood builds suspense. In “The Lottery” the opening sentence of the book gives the setting of the story. The opening sentence says, “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green”. the reader can imagine in their head what the scene and what the atmosphere is like. The mood evokes feelings in the reader at the end of the book that contradicts the calm setting used in the beginning. Whereas in “The Interlopers” the author starts off with a suspenseful mood saying, “In a forest of mixed growth somewhere on the eastern spurs of the Carpathians, a man stood one winter night watching and listening, as though he waited for some beast of the woods to come within the range of his vision and, later, of his rifle. But the game for whose presence he kept so keen an outlook was none that figured in the sportsman’s calendar as lawful and proper for the chase; Ulrich von Gradwitz patrolled the dark forest in quest of a human enemy.” This statement causes the reader to wonder who the human enemy is and why he is hunting them. Like Jackson’s, Saki’s word choices and setting increase the suspense and tension in the narrative.

In the stories “The Lottery” and “The Interlopers,” authors Shirley Jackson and Saki use pacing, the structure of text and mood to build suspense. The importance of using these literary techniques is to keep your audience interested. If there was nothing to look forward to, the readers wouldn’t want to read onward. I predict if the authors hadn’t used pacing to build suspense, the endings would have been more surprising and more confusing because there was nothing that led up to such finishes.

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