The Interlopers

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The Beech Tree Symbol Analysis

The Beech Tree Symbol Icon
Despite Ulrich and Georg both being armed with the intent to shoot, a huge, falling beech tree is what nearly kills them when they finally come face-to-face. The tree immobilizes the men, and in pinning them, prevents either man from using his rifle to murder the other. The force of a winter storm fells the tree. On one hand, this event shows the random power of nature, and how it doesn’t abide by man’s feuds or allegiances. On the other hand, nature’s perfect timing—felling the tree just as the two men round it and see each other—might suggest some sort of divine order, one in which nature teaches the two men a lesson about their limited power.

The Beech Tree Quotes in The Interlopers

The The Interlopers quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Beech Tree. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Power, Property, and Identity Theme Icon
).
The Interlopers Quotes

But a man who has been brought up under the code of a restraining civilisation cannot easily nerve himself to shoot down his neighbour in cold blood and without word spoken, except for an offence against his hearth and honour.

Related Characters: Ulrich von Gradwitz, Georg Znaeym
Related Symbols: Rifles, The Beech Tree

And before the moment of hesitation had given way to action a deed of Nature's own violence overwhelmed them both.

Related Characters: Ulrich von Gradwitz, Georg Znaeym
Related Symbols: The Beech Tree

We fight this quarrel out to the death, you and I and our foresters, with no cursed interlopers to come between us. Death and damnation to you, Ulrich von Gradwitz.

Related Characters: Georg Znaeym (speaker), Ulrich von Gradwitz
Related Symbols: The Beech Tree

Both men spoke with the bitterness of possible defeat before them, for each knew that it might be long before his men would seek him out or find him; it was a bare matter of chance which party would arrive first on the scene.

Related Characters: Ulrich von Gradwitz, Georg Znaeym
Related Symbols: The Beech Tree

In the pain and languor that Ulrich himself was feeling the old fierce hatred seemed to be dying down.

Related Characters: Ulrich von Gradwitz
Related Symbols: The Beech Tree

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.

Related Characters: Ulrich von Gradwitz (speaker), Georg Znaeym
Related Symbols: The Beech Tree

And each prayed a private prayer that his men might be the first to arrive, so that he might be the first to show honourable attention to the enemy that had become a friend.

Related Characters: Ulrich von Gradwitz, Georg Znaeym
Related Symbols: The Beech Tree
Get the entire The Interlopers LitChart as a printable PDF.
The interlopers.pdf.medium

The Beech Tree Symbol Timeline in The Interlopers

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Beech Tree appears in The Interlopers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Interlopers
Power, Property, and Identity Theme Icon
Changing Interlopers Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
After stepping around a huge tree, Ulrich meets Georg face to face. Also alone and holding a rifle, Georg, like Ulrich,... (full context)
Changing Interlopers Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...Each says that if his men are the first to arrive, they will roll the tree’s trunk over the other man, killing him. Georg says he is glad that they have... (full context)
Power, Property, and Identity Theme Icon
Changing Interlopers Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...exchanging insults, Ulrich and Georg give up on struggling to get out from under the tree. Ulrich uses his remaining strength to pull a wine-flask from his pocket, and drink from... (full context)
Power, Property, and Identity Theme Icon
...the first to arrive, so that his men can be the ones to lift the tree from the other. (full context)