Foreshadowing in The Interlopers

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Richard Fernando Ms. Giorgio ENG1D February, 28, 2011 Foreshadowing: Its depiction in “The Interlopers” Many authors use foreshadowing throughout their stories to warn the reader about a particular event that occurs later in the story. It is a literary device defined as being the act of presenting indications beforehand. Saki, the author of the short story “The Interlopers”, is a great example in how authors use foreshadowing in presenting their work of literature to the readers.

In short summary, “The Interlopers” is a short story that tells a tale about two characters who have been enemies since birth.

In the beginning of the story, Ulrich von Gradwitz, the protagonist, goes out to the forest even though it is not safe. Later in the story Ulrich has second thoughts, and wants to resolve things with Georg Znaeym, the antagonist, but nobody will know about it.

Into the end of the story the two characters seek rescue, but from the sound of Ulrich’s laugh rescue is far away. Just by the given information, one can easily perceive how the author, Saki, uses foreshadowing to hint the readers that things aren’t always what they may seem.

In the short story “The Interlopers”, the author uses foreshadowing to warn the reader that events will turn out the opposite way then they were supposed to. Right at the beginning of Saki’s “The Interlopers”, one can become aware of the author’s observation and how he holds the true notion of foreshadowing.

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He uses foreshadowing many times throughout the story to warn the reader that events turn out the opposite. Saki’s concept of foreshadowing is evident in the beginning of the story when he states: “In a forest of mixed growth somewhere on the eastern spurs of the

Why Do Authors Use Foreshadowing

Karpathians, 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. ” (33). Saki is hinting to the reader that the forest is unsafe, how there is unrest in the woods, and that the creatures are restless. The reader then thinks that the man shouldn’t enter the treacherous forest, however Saki then quotes, “Ulrich von Gradwitz patrolled the dark forest in quest of a human enemy” (33). After describing how the forest is unsafe to travel, Ulrich patrols the forest for revenge.

Now the reader is assuming that there is yet trouble to come or even death, changing the reader’s thought from beforehand. As seen through these examples, it is evident that Saki uses foreshadowing to make the reader believe one thing, and then having them realize the opposite. Another part in the story where the author shows this literary device is when Ulrich has second thoughts about Georg Znaeym. He wants to resolve the problems from the past, and tries to become friends with him as quoted in the following: “Neighbour,’ he said presently, ‘do as you please if your men come first. It was a fair compact.

But as for me, I’ve changed my mind. If my men are the first to come you shall be the first to be helped, as though you were my guest. We have quarrelled like devils all our lives over this stupid strip of forest, where the trees can’t even stand upright in a breath of wind. Lying here to-night thinking I’ve come to think we’ve been rather fools; there are better things in life than getting the better of a boundary dispute. Neighbour, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel I – I will ask you to be my friend. ”(36). Ulrich now wants to become friends with Georg, which would mean the long lasting fight between the two families will end.

One would instinctively think that in having them become friends this would resolve everything, but the next quote proves how Saki changes the reader’s thought. The author states: “A fierce shriek of the storm had been answered by a splitting crash over their heads, and ere they could leap aside a mass of falling beech tree had thundered down on them. ” (34). This quote depicts how the two men are pinned down by a tree trunk, waiting for their men to come help. The reader is now inferring that nobody might ever know about their friendship, resulting in the conflict between the two families to go on.

Saki once again showed foreshadowing, but this time he forces the reader to have second thoughts about the event and what’s to come later in the story. As previously mentioned Saki uses foreshadowing at the beginning of “The Interlopers”, however he uses the literary device at the end of the story as well. In the following the author informs the reader how Ulrich and Georg still seek for their men: “Are they your men? ” asked Georg. “Are they your men? ” He repeated impatiently as Ulrich did not answer. “No,” said Ulrich with a laugh, the idiotic chattering laugh of a man unstrung with hideous fear. (37). The author foreshadows Ulrich’s laugh, assuming the worst is yet to come, since he laughs with a hideous fear. In fact, after this quote the most unpleasant news was to come, Georg says “Who are they? ”… straining his eyes to see what the other would gladly not have seen. “Wolves. ” (37). Saki hinted to the reader that it couldn’t have possibly be any of their men and there is no doubt that the reader didn’t suspect the wolves, but since the author foreshadowed Ulrich’s laugh that something bad was to come, it forces the reader to unintentionally suspect.

Saki, the author uses foreshadowing in a unique way, where he changes the reader’s mind into many different possibilities on how the event will end. Overall, Saki uses this literary device to help the reader make predictions, and assumptions. As shown Saki, the author of “The Interlopers” has demonstrated clearly that foreshadowing can be used to turn events into the unexpected. He showed this throughout his story, when the protagonist patrolled the dark forest, when it was unsafe to travel.

As well as when Ulrich had other thoughts about Georg, and offered him to become friends, except nobody would’ve known about the alliance. It is also demonstrated near the end of the story when both enemies looked for help, until Ulrich laughed with such fear, which meant the worst was to come. Therefore throughout Saki’s short story of “The Interlopers”, it is evident how an author’s notion of foreshadowing can make a reader wonder and imagine what is going to occur later on in the story. Work Cited Mills, Ian, et al. Sightlines 9. Ontario: Scarborough, Ontario, Prentice Hall, 1999. Print “The Interlopers”, Saki (33-37)

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Foreshadowing in The Interlopers. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

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