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Liam Oflahertys The Sniper Essay

1196 words - 5 pages

"Then he lay still against the parapet, and, closing his eyes, he made an effort of will to overcome the pain." (O'Flaherty) Although the war destroys homes, it destroys countries, and also destroys lives, the terror of the civil war is overwhelming. The short story "The Sniper" written by Liam O'Flaherty, explains not only the physical pain, but also the mental effects of war.
Liam O'Flaherty, born August 28th 1896 in Inishmore, Ireland and died September 7th 1984 in Dublin Ireland. Liam's work was a combination of brutal naturalism, psychological analysis, poetry, and biting satire with an abiding respect for the courage and persistence of the Irish People. He was considered to be a ...view middle of the document...

The short story "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, the sniper can be described as both heartless and human. The story is set in the 1930's during the civil war in Dublin. The sniper is fighting in the civil war. He is looking for enemies. He sees an enemy tank, an old lady goes to the tank. She is talking to the driver, informing him of things. The sniper is shot at in the arm by the enemy. He cannot use his rifle. He drops it on the ground. The enemy thinks the sniper is dead. The sniper shoots the enemy with his revolver. The enemy died in pain. The sniper has a sick feeling. He nearly kills himself. He returns to his heartless self. He is curious to know who his enemy was, he goes to the body, only to find himself looking into the eyes of his own brother.
Irony is used when the sniper turned over the enemy's body to find that he was his brother, the irony kicks in and changes the whole mood of the story when he sees the lifeless body of his own brother. Irony is important tot he story because it sets the plot up for a perfect ending. Another part of the irony is when he kills his brother as if he was killing himself. "Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face." The irony helps the mirrored conflict that the story supports, because of the fact that there are two brothers fighting which is like fighting yourself. Another representation of irony is that the enemy is usually evil and searched to be killed, but when the sniper shoots hime, he then sees that it wasn't an enemy, it was his own flesh and blood.
Onomatopoeia is a sound explained in words. In the story Liam explains, "machine guns and rifles broke the silence fo the night spasmodically" Spasmodically is used as an example of the gun shots at night during war as if it was a twitch throughout his body.
Tone suggests an attitude toward the subject which is communicated by the words the author chooses. "Darkness but for the dim light of the moon shone through fleecy clouds." The tone is negative and hopeless. This is important to the theme, which is to show the terror of the Irish Civil War. For many years, the Irish had been fighting each other over Ireland being a free state.
Symbolism is very important to the story because it shows the underlying meaning of the conflicts in the story. One point of the...

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