The Sniper

Formative Reading Assessment, Knowledge, Understanding the Sniper

May 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

Short Description


  1. The story tells us that the main character face was like the face of a student, thin and ascetic. Which means he was a young looking man and is self-disciplined
  2. n the story the sniper knew that if he smoked due to the lightening of the match, the other enemies will be able to see it but he decided to take the risk. Which means he is bold.
  3. At the beginning of the story the eyes of the republican sniper was described to resemble that of someone used to looking at death this means that he is no longer affected by pain and death.
  4. “The sniper” is started off with the paragraph which says Dublin lays enveloped in darkness and later on the second paragraph says on a rooftop near O’Connell Bridge, a Republican sniper lays watching. This gives reference to the Irish civil war that happened in 1922 between the republicans and free staters.
  5. The story tells us she was trying to escape from the republican sniper who had pulled the trigger the first time but missed , on the second shot from the sniper she darted towards the street but she still got hit by the shot and fell into the gutter.
  6. The armoured car is described as a gray monster. The car was given the identity of a living creature.
  7. The sniper convinces his enemy he is dead by placing his cap at the muzzle of his rifle, he then pushes the rifle over the parapet until the cap was visible from the opposite side of the street. When the cap is shot the sniper pretends to be dead and slants his rifle so his cap falls off then he lets his hands drop down and later on drops the rifle. This later convinces the enemy he is dead
  8. The republican sniper experiences a lot of pain on his right arm, the arm he got shot on.
  9. The climax of the story occured when the sniper killed his enemy and suddenly started feeling remorse. This is because he wanted to kill his enemy so badly before but when he finally did he felt regret. This tell us after all that the sniper is not really used to looking at death as he was said to do so in the second paragraph.

Thinking and Inquiry

The protagonist is not given a name because the author is using him to represent any individual during war. The writer is trying to tell us that anyone could be in his shoes during war. He had not eaten since morning because he is in war so he has to hide, the only time he might feel safe to eat is when he knows the enemies can not be sighted and he is in a safe place. The first mood was determination to kill his enemy. This was in paragraph 19, he wanted to kill his enemy so he could come out from his hiding and go report to his commander. The second mood was remorse and it was shown from paragraph 20-21, he Cursed himself for the death of his enemy. We see such contrasts because the writer is trying to tell us that even though war portrays human beings as people to just shoot and fight that among those human beings they are ones who curse themselves or feel regret due to the war No matter how tough they have to be. The author was saying that war can make your family members your enemies, since war portrays human beings as objects to be shot at , it can be a loved one you shoot because he is on your enemies side. The sniper did not know his brother was the enemy, it could have been the brother that shot him because they were enemies during the war.


At some points in my life, I got bullied and i was all about revenge when I later got into high school. My mind was not at rest i was so bitter i saw everyone as objects who needed to pay back for the hurt . I was not physically at war but emotional i was. “The Sniper” is shown when at first i was so excited to hurt someone and after I did i still felt very remorse.

The story relates to the Nature of Good and Evil because the story tell us that war desentisizes individuals and diminish the value of human life. The main character perceives the free staters as enemies , he needs to fight for his life and to do that he has to kill his enemies . But he curses himself when he kills the last enemy on the opposite side, This shows that during evil there is always good. War is evil but the humans involved are fighting for their belief and some of them Still do have compassion, this portrays the good.

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Liam O’flaherty’s the Sniper: Unimportance of Family During Wars

May 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

“The Sniper” written by Liam O’Flaherty suggests the unimportance of family. It presents the idea of how war can effect and separate families. Sometimes war and other loyalties make family members unrecognizable. I believe the Sniper would have fired the fatal shot if he knew the other soldier was his brother because first of all war divides families, second of all it exterminates the feeling of remorse, and lastly it weakens family bond by decreasing the values of your family members.

To begin with separation and division, war can split families apart. Sometimes your survival becomes more important to you than the rest of your family. Just like in the short story “Cranes” by Hwang Sunwon, Songsam betrayed his family for his survival. In fact, the influence of war ripped him and his best friend, Tok-Chae apart. The two childhood friends became rivals because of fighting on different sides of the war. They had forgotten the value of family and friendship until the day when they finally faced each other. Maybe the same thing happened with the Sniper. As stated by the author in the text “Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother’s face”. This statement doesn’t express any guilt or sorrow. Even Dane said in the Socratic discussion “He would have taken the shot anyway because it’s his duty.” And I agree with that because if he doesn’t follow his duty he might be killed for being a traitor.

Secondly, war exterminates the felling of remorse. War is all about murders and violence. And if you want to survive you have to kill your enemy. For the Sniper murdering someone didn’t mean anything because he was used to it. It was his duty. He just saw it as his job. Even Dane agreed with this in the discussion by saying “killing someone didn’t matter to him because he has done it like ten times before.” Also, in the text it said “Then when the smoke cleared, he peered across and uttered a cry of joy.” Clearly, this sentence proves that he was relieved that he killed his enemy and now he’s safe.

Furthermore, war can weaken family bond by decreasing the values of your family members. After seeing the terrible lifestyle of the soldiers and the horrors on the battle field he would obviously want to survive and he could do anything for it. In addition, the text said “Weakened by his wound and the long summer day of fasting and watching on the roof, he revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy.” This states that he was just tired of serving in the war and he just wanted everything to end. In fact, he also wondered “He wondered did he know him. Perhaps he had been in his own company before the split in the army.” He knew that there is a possibility of his enemy being his friend or relative but still he took a chance and killed him without even thinking who he might end up killing. He did all this just for his selfishness and survival.

“The Sniper” presents the idea of how war can have an immense impact on one’s life. It briefly explains how war can split families apart and make you selfish. The same situation occurred with the Sniper which I believe would have probably made him fired that shot even if he knew the other soldiers was his brother. The causes of this situation are that war divides families, it weakens family bond which decreases your values for your family, and war exterminates the feeling of remorse.

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Liam O’flaherty’s Sniper: Wicked Twist of Fate

May 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Sniper written by Liam O Flaherty As a socialistic society we live in we find ourselves in positions were conflicts arise between friends or family. The Sniper was written by Liam O Flaherty to express a subtle yet powerful opinion on such a conflict. With references this essay will analyse the short story bringing to light the structure used to contribute to the theme. The basic plot of the story is based during an evening within the Irish civil wars. It tells of a republican sniper sitting on a rooftop and neutralising enemy units as the cross a bridge. When a free-states sniper shows himself on an opposite roof they wage a fierce and innovative war to see who would end up the better. Eventually the republican sniper gains the upper hand and after taking a bullet in the arm destroys the worthy opponent. After a curious inspection to the identity of the enemy sniper he finds himself looking into the eyes of his dead brother. The story is written in 3rd person P.O.V as to give an idea of the setting, and as they waged their war the outside person could give unbiased information of which would have been limited if it were to be presented in a 1st person P.O.V. We wouldn t have got an unbiased opinion of the two snipers, which defeats the purpose of the theme.

How the setting was expressed is also a vital part for the development of the story. The opening paragraph gives a vivid description of the situation as would physically been seen. The long June twilight faded into night. Dublin lay enveloped in darkness, but for the dim light of the moon, which shone through fleecy clouds, casting a pale light as of approaching dawn over the streets and the dark waters of the Liffey. This extract emphasises the lonely, outworld feeling that would have been felt living in such settings. This puts into perspective the feeling that will be felt during the coarse of the plot development. Little extra tricks have been used through the story that could only been described as style. Little things such as short sentences to create extra suspense. Use of alliteration and similes creates a more powerful image. Short, simple sentences gives impact to the final climax of the story. So concludes this analysis of The Sniper written by Liam O Flaherty. Shown above are references onto how he went about creating a powerful yet simple theme.

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War Tearing Families Apart in Dorris Lessing’s the Sniper and Frank O’connor’s My Oedipus Complex

May 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Sniper by Dorris Lessing and My Oedipus Complex by Frank O’ Connor both contain the theme of how war tears families apart. The theme is conveyed through irony, though in The Sniper irony is only obvious at the conclusion, whereas irony is present throughout My Oedipus Complex.

In The Sniper, irony is slowly built up and amplified through the characterisation of the Russian Sniper in the story. The characterisation of the Republican sniper was cold-blooded and professional. As he was about the kill his enemy, he ‘smiled’, showing his pleasure in the enemy’s death which showcases his cold-bloodedness and lack of emotions. This has a stark contrast to the shock he receives as he recognised his enemy, looking ‘into his brother’s face’. The irony is thus significant as it shows how war can turn brother against brother, shattering families, tearing them apart. The sniper had taken great joy in killing his own brother, which also demonstrates the irony, further emphasizing the significance of irony in the theme of war tearing families apart.

The sniper was also characterised as professional, as despite being shot in his arm, he still felt ‘no pain – just a deadened sensation’. He continued plotting a plan despite his injury and the danger of the circumstances, which enhances his professionalism as he is able to think of his feet. He also braced the pain as he endured the recoil of the gun with his injured hand. However, despite his proficiency, he still did not manage to identify his brother before he shot him. This ironic effect that his proficiency is now rendered useless, even backfiring at him as he killed his own brother, again enhances the significance of irony in the theme of war tearing families apart. Foreshadowing is also used as there is a longer description of the killing of his own brother and when ‘the machine gun stopped’ firing as the dead enemy was about to be revealed. This foreshadowing creates suspense and highlights importance in the dead enemy, which in turn amplified the irony, boosting its significance in the theme as it demonstrates bluntly that war turns brother against brother.

Irony is also present in My Oedipus Complex, with the same significance on the theme of war tearing families apart. The irony in My Oedipus Complex is that Larry describes his father in a negative way, but in reality these negative descriptions are describing him as well. Larry insults his father, criticising how he was ‘sleeping with [the mother] without the least regard for her health’, but in reality, Larry is the one in the wrong for sleeping with his mother. This ironic effect shows how Larry is angry and against his father, due to the father’s sudden appearance after war. This showcases the distance in the relationship between father and son during wartime, as a conflict began soon after the father returned. Thus irony is significant here in showcasing the theme of war tearing families apart, as Larry is staging a war between him and his father.

Also, instead of Larry being delighted at his father’s return from war, he is angry and annoyed at his return, and wants God to ‘send Daddy back to war’. Although this might be due to the immaturity of Larry, the irony is also present, showing the annoyance of Larry towards his father. The stereotype of a reunion between families after a war is of a happy and cheerful occasion, but the irony in this case is of a dull atmosphere, full of hatred, lack of love. Thus irony is significant in My Oedipus Complex.

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