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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