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''The Sniper''
Plot Summary

“The Sniper” relates an encounter in downtown Dublin, near the O’Connell Bridge, between
a sniper for the Republicans and a sniper for the Free Staters.
Guns roar in the distance as the Republican sniper lies on a rooftop.
He is a young boy. “ His face was that of a student—thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of a fanatic . . . the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is a June evening, and the sniper, who has had nothing to eat since morning, hungrily wolfs down a sandwich and takes a short drink from the flask of whiskey he carries in his pocket.

He desperately wants a cigarette and finally risks showing his position by igniting a match and lighting one.

Instantly, a bullet hits the wall near him. He takes two puffs of the cigarette and snuffs it. He raises himself to look over the parapet, but another bullet whizzes by his head, and he flattens himself against the roof.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
An armored car crosses O’Connell Bridge and stops just below the sniper’s position. An old woman with a tattered shawl around her head comes out of a side street to talk with a man in the turret of the armored car.
The sniper wants to shoot at the armored car, but he knows that his bullets will not penetrate its fortified exterior.
The old woman points in the direction of the sniper, who now realizes that she is an informer. When the man inside opens the turret to talk with her, the sniper shoots, and the man slumps over lifeless.
The woman hurries toward the side street, but the sniper shoots again. The old woman shrieks and falls into the gutter. The car speeds away, the man in the turret still slumped there.
More shooting is heard, and the sniper knows that it is coming from the roof across the way. He has been hit in his right arm, in which he has lost all feeling.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sniper takes out his knife and uses it to rip open his shirt. He sees that a bullet has gone into his arm but has not emerged from the other side.
He takes out his field-dressing kit, breaks off the top of the iodine
bottle that he pulls from it, and pours the dark liquid into his wound.
Then he applies the bandages from his kit, using his teeth to tie the knot.
The sniper knows that he must get off the roof by morning or else the enemy sniper will kill him. He realizes that the sniper on the roof across the way is watching him every minute and will not let him get away.
Taking his rifle, which is useless to him because his wounded arm makes it impossible for him to fire it, he puts his army cap on the muzzle and raises it slightly above the parapet.
A shot rings out and the cap falls to the earth far below. The sniper lets his left arm hang lifelessly over the parapet, holding his rifle in it.
Then he lets the rifle fall and rolls over.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The opposing sniper, assuming that his enemy is dead, relaxes his vigilance and stands up on the roof.
The Republican sniper aims his revolver at his opponent and fires. The enemy sniper reels over the parapet in his death agony, then falls to the earth.
The Republican sniper is suddenly revolted by what he sees and by what he has done. “His teeth chattered. He began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.” He drains his whiskey flask in one draft.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sniper leaves the roof. When he gets to the street, his curiosity overcomes him and forces him to steal over to see whom he has shot. He attracts machine-gun fire as he goes toward the dead sniper, but he is not hit. He flings himself down beside the body of the man he has killed, then turns it over. He finds himself staring into his own brother’s face.
Irony

The author not only uses the settings to intensify the evilness of war; but he also introduces several scenes of situation irony into the story to further explain the downside effects of war.

For instance, when the Republican sniper riskily lights up a cigarette, the light will glow and expose his location on the rooftop.

The irony unpredictably occurs when an old lady spy points at the sniper's location to his enemy. This is ironic because no one expects an old and weak lady with trembling legs would secretly be a spy. This forces the Republican sniper to kill the lady instantly because otherwise, he will be killed by his enemies.

Another ironic situation takes place when the Freestater soldier arrives at the O'Connell bridge in an armoured truck; a tank-like transportation machine, and yet he is killed by the Republican sniper when he peeks out the car window with half of his body outside. This is ironic because it is surprising that someone would be that imprudent when knowing that there is a sniper watching his every move.

Furthermore, from the last sentence of this short story, "then the sniper turned over the dead boy and looked into his brother's face," readers are able to identify and make out the conclusion that the Republican sniper has shot and killed his own blood related brother.
This is the ultimate ironic situation because he unknowingly exterminates his loved one;
who is also part of his beloved family.

This short story is cleverly written in a way that uses irony to show the negative sides of war, such as misery, torture and regret, and how it breaks families apart.


Technical Aspects

Liam O'Flaherty uses his short story "The Sniper" to suggest to the readers that war is an evil obsession that makes brothers turn against brothers and this is intensified throughout the story by the clever usage of the setting, the situation irony and the theme or the moral of the story.
The Setting
The story takes place in Dublin, and this city is described in a way that gives off depressing, suspenseful and pessimistic images; showing that war is an awful thing.
The author dedicates the entire first paragraph to describe the setting and to illustrate the atmosphere of the story.
For example, "Dublin lay enveloped in darkness." The word "darkness" instantly creates a sense of insecurity and mystery in the readers' minds and as well as a suspenseful atmosphere.
The sentence "The dim light of the moon shone through fleecy clouds, casting a pale light" transmits a feeling of loneliness and depression since moon is often thought as lonely in the high end of the sky. "Around the beleaguered Four Courts the heavy guns roared.
Here and there through the city machine guns and rifles broke the silence of the night, spasmodically like dogs barking on lone farm." In this sentence, the author identifies Dublin as a dangerous and insecure city, full of constant violence with the accompaniments of machine guns and rifles.
In addition, when the Republican drops to the ground after his injury, he leans against a parapet, which can also be explained as a protective barrier that the sniper uses to hide from all the cruelty and brutal faces of war.
All these images demonstrate isolation, desolation and the brutality formed by the war and the images are formed by intention to show the readers the identifiable harmful impacts that a war can carry.

The Third Person Limited Point of View
The setting and the situation irony plays an important role in building up the conflict of "The Sniper," however the third person limited point of view plays the major role.
For instance, by introducing the main protagonist as "a Republican sniper lay watching," readers will connect the Republican sniper to a person they are close to or have ties with; making it more painful and shocking for readers in the end when the death of the sniper's brother is revealed.
Since the point of view is limited, the author is not informing the readers about the feelings of the Republican sniper when he turns over the dead body and realize that it is his brother. However the readers can easily make up assumptions about how the Republican sniper's emotions will be when he sees the face of his brother; emotions like tears washing his face with a sorrowful laugh.
The point of view also permits the readers to follow the Republican sniper throughout the entire story; feel what he feels and see what he sees. "She was pointing to the roof where the sniper lay." This makes the readers realize that because of the civil war, the sniper is being forced to kill others to stay alive.
Throughout the entire story, O'Flaherty allows the readers to see the events through the eyes of the sniper and therefore readers will understand the negative impacts of war by cleverly using a third person limited point of view.
The narrator in the story calls the sniper “young”, “ascetic” and “fanatic” in the exposition. He is a soldier who has to carry out his orders of killing his enemies in cold blood, without any feelings of guilt or remorse. To show pain is for bidden. The sniper plans his actions minutely and is presented by the narrator as a watchful and diligent observer of the opponents´ next steps. involved in that war (“cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody” and feels guilty. The author O´Flaherty has the sniper look into his brother´s face at the end of the story which is certainly the most effective ending you can imagine.

“The Sniper” can, therefore, rightly be called a story of initiation because a young man is introduced to the world of adults when he is confronted with the implications of his cruel actions in war.

The perspective is that of a 3rd person narrator. The point of view is limited because the narrator confines himself to the protagonist’s point of view. That is to say that he limits his narration to what is experienced,
thought, and felt by the sniper who is in the centre of attention in the action and thus provides the “centre of consciousness”.

The narrator knows exactly what the protagonist is going to do next and observes him with a “camera-eye” technique. Consequently, the reader feels deeply with the protagonist and his situation. Who else but an
omniscient narrator could know that “his [the sniper’s] eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic,” that they are “the eyes of a man who is used to look at death” , and that “he must kill that enemy” . The text abounds in countless examples of the Republican’s thoughts and feelings, almost culminating in self-denial.


النص الأصلي

''The Sniper''
Plot Summary


“The Sniper” relates an encounter in downtown Dublin, near the O’Connell Bridge, between
a sniper for the Republicans and a sniper for the Free Staters.
Guns roar in the distance as the Republican sniper lies on a rooftop.
He is a young boy. “ His face was that of a student—thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of a fanatic . . . the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death"


It is a June evening, and the sniper, who has had nothing to eat since morning, hungrily wolfs down a sandwich and takes a short drink from the flask of whiskey he carries in his pocket.


He desperately wants a cigarette and finally risks showing his position by igniting a match and lighting one.


Instantly, a bullet hits the wall near him. He takes two puffs of the cigarette and snuffs it. He raises himself to look over the parapet, but another bullet whizzes by his head, and he flattens himself against the roof.


An armored car crosses O’Connell Bridge and stops just below the sniper’s position. An old woman with a tattered shawl around her head comes out of a side street to talk with a man in the turret of the armored car.
The sniper wants to shoot at the armored car, but he knows that his bullets will not penetrate its fortified exterior.
The old woman points in the direction of the sniper, who now realizes that she is an informer. When the man inside opens the turret to talk with her, the sniper shoots, and the man slumps over lifeless.
The woman hurries toward the side street, but the sniper shoots again. The old woman shrieks and falls into the gutter. The car speeds away, the man in the turret still slumped there.
More shooting is heard, and the sniper knows that it is coming from the roof across the way. He has been hit in his right arm, in which he has lost all feeling.


The sniper takes out his knife and uses it to rip open his shirt. He sees that a bullet has gone into his arm but has not emerged from the other side.
He takes out his field-dressing kit, breaks off the top of the iodine
bottle that he pulls from it, and pours the dark liquid into his wound.
Then he applies the bandages from his kit, using his teeth to tie the knot.
The sniper knows that he must get off the roof by morning or else the enemy sniper will kill him. He realizes that the sniper on the roof across the way is watching him every minute and will not let him get away.
Taking his rifle, which is useless to him because his wounded arm makes it impossible for him to fire it, he puts his army cap on the muzzle and raises it slightly above the parapet.
A shot rings out and the cap falls to the earth far below. The sniper lets his left arm hang lifelessly over the parapet, holding his rifle in it.
Then he lets the rifle fall and rolls over.


The opposing sniper, assuming that his enemy is dead, relaxes his vigilance and stands up on the roof.
The Republican sniper aims his revolver at his opponent and fires. The enemy sniper reels over the parapet in his death agony, then falls to the earth.
The Republican sniper is suddenly revolted by what he sees and by what he has done. “His teeth chattered. He began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.” He drains his whiskey flask in one draft.


The sniper leaves the roof. When he gets to the street, his curiosity overcomes him and forces him to steal over to see whom he has shot. He attracts machine-gun fire as he goes toward the dead sniper, but he is not hit. He flings himself down beside the body of the man he has killed, then turns it over. He finds himself staring into his own brother’s face.
Irony


The author not only uses the settings to intensify the evilness of war; but he also introduces several scenes of situation irony into the story to further explain the downside effects of war.


For instance, when the Republican sniper riskily lights up a cigarette, the light will glow and expose his location on the rooftop.


The irony unpredictably occurs when an old lady spy points at the sniper's location to his enemy. This is ironic because no one expects an old and weak lady with trembling legs would secretly be a spy. This forces the Republican sniper to kill the lady instantly because otherwise, he will be killed by his enemies.


Another ironic situation takes place when the Freestater soldier arrives at the O'Connell bridge in an armoured truck; a tank-like transportation machine, and yet he is killed by the Republican sniper when he peeks out the car window with half of his body outside. This is ironic because it is surprising that someone would be that imprudent when knowing that there is a sniper watching his every move.


Furthermore, from the last sentence of this short story, "then the sniper turned over the dead boy and looked into his brother's face," readers are able to identify and make out the conclusion that the Republican sniper has shot and killed his own blood related brother.
This is the ultimate ironic situation because he unknowingly exterminates his loved one;
who is also part of his beloved family.


This short story is cleverly written in a way that uses irony to show the negative sides of war, such as misery, torture and regret, and how it breaks families apart.


Technical Aspects


Liam O'Flaherty uses his short story "The Sniper" to suggest to the readers that war is an evil obsession that makes brothers turn against brothers and this is intensified throughout the story by the clever usage of the setting, the situation irony and the theme or the moral of the story.
The Setting
The story takes place in Dublin, and this city is described in a way that gives off depressing, suspenseful and pessimistic images; showing that war is an awful thing.
The author dedicates the entire first paragraph to describe the setting and to illustrate the atmosphere of the story.
For example, "Dublin lay enveloped in darkness." The word "darkness" instantly creates a sense of insecurity and mystery in the readers' minds and as well as a suspenseful atmosphere.
The sentence "The dim light of the moon shone through fleecy clouds, casting a pale light" transmits a feeling of loneliness and depression since moon is often thought as lonely in the high end of the sky. "Around the beleaguered Four Courts the heavy guns roared.
Here and there through the city machine guns and rifles broke the silence of the night, spasmodically like dogs barking on lone farm." In this sentence, the author identifies Dublin as a dangerous and insecure city, full of constant violence with the accompaniments of machine guns and rifles.
In addition, when the Republican drops to the ground after his injury, he leans against a parapet, which can also be explained as a protective barrier that the sniper uses to hide from all the cruelty and brutal faces of war.
All these images demonstrate isolation, desolation and the brutality formed by the war and the images are formed by intention to show the readers the identifiable harmful impacts that a war can carry.


The Third Person Limited Point of View
The setting and the situation irony plays an important role in building up the conflict of "The Sniper," however the third person limited point of view plays the major role.
For instance, by introducing the main protagonist as "a Republican sniper lay watching," readers will connect the Republican sniper to a person they are close to or have ties with; making it more painful and shocking for readers in the end when the death of the sniper's brother is revealed.
Since the point of view is limited, the author is not informing the readers about the feelings of the Republican sniper when he turns over the dead body and realize that it is his brother. However the readers can easily make up assumptions about how the Republican sniper's emotions will be when he sees the face of his brother; emotions like tears washing his face with a sorrowful laugh.
The point of view also permits the readers to follow the Republican sniper throughout the entire story; feel what he feels and see what he sees. "She was pointing to the roof where the sniper lay." This makes the readers realize that because of the civil war, the sniper is being forced to kill others to stay alive.
Throughout the entire story, O'Flaherty allows the readers to see the events through the eyes of the sniper and therefore readers will understand the negative impacts of war by cleverly using a third person limited point of view.
The narrator in the story calls the sniper “young”, “ascetic” and “fanatic” in the exposition. He is a soldier who has to carry out his orders of killing his enemies in cold blood, without any feelings of guilt or remorse. To show pain is for bidden. The sniper plans his actions minutely and is presented by the narrator as a watchful and diligent observer of the opponents´ next steps. involved in that war (“cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody” and feels guilty. The author O´Flaherty has the sniper look into his brother´s face at the end of the story which is certainly the most effective ending you can imagine.


“The Sniper” can, therefore, rightly be called a story of initiation because a young man is introduced to the world of adults when he is confronted with the implications of his cruel actions in war.


The perspective is that of a 3rd person narrator. The point of view is limited because the narrator confines himself to the protagonist’s point of view. That is to say that he limits his narration to what is experienced,
thought, and felt by the sniper who is in the centre of attention in the action and thus provides the “centre of consciousness”.


The narrator knows exactly what the protagonist is going to do next and observes him with a “camera-eye” technique. Consequently, the reader feels deeply with the protagonist and his situation. Who else but an
omniscient narrator could know that “his [the sniper’s] eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic,” that they are “the eyes of a man who is used to look at death” , and that “he must kill that enemy” . The text abounds in countless examples of the Republican’s thoughts and feelings, almost culminating in self-denial.


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