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Situational Irony and the Indifference of Nature in Saki's "The Interlopers" by Thilen

About the Author

As I read "The Interlopers," I learned how nature can cause unfortunate events. The author, Saki, portrayed nature as powerful and able to inflict damage and interfere in a situation. Therefore, "The Interlopers" helped me become a better person by realizing that nature is a powerful force.

Situational Irony and the Indifference of Nature in Saki's "The Interlopers"

by Thilen

In "The Interlopers," Saki reveals that nature is more powerful than mankind, such as when Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym die while trying to kill each other. They both oppose each other because of their family feud. As they meet, they both have that detestation in their gut and "[t]he two enemies stand glaring at one another for a long silent moment (par. 4). These two characters have unbearable tension among themselves and hatred towards each other. Nonetheless, they both try to take away each other’s life. As they fight, a mass of wood holds them down and Gradwitz sees that Znaeym is drinking his own spit. He offers him his wine flask, and they become warm friends. As they freshen up, they see figures in the forest. They are both terrified and try to call for help and "[f]or a space, both men are silent, turning over in their minds the wonderful changes that this dramatic reconciliation would bring about” (par. 22) Then, wolves run to Gradwitz and Znayem and kill them both. This scene shows situational irony because of how Gradwitz and Znaeym call for help but get wolves instead. The opposite of what is intended occurs. The situational irony reveals the power of mother nature. Even though Gradwitz and Znaeym resolve their feud, nature remains indifferent.

Here is the link for the reading if you want to get some context about it!


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