Summary of the Sniper
In “The Sniper” By Liam O Flaherty
The story is happening during the Irish civil war; “Republicans and Free Staters
were waging civil war.” The sniper, who the audience is following, is a republican
Sniper. “He was eating a sandwich hungrily. He had eaten nothing since morning,”
shows that the sniper is patient and he has been waiting for his shot for a long
He paused for a moment, considering whether he should
take a smoke. It was dangerous. The flash might be in seen
in the darkness, and there were enemies watching. He
decided to take the risk.
He is very brave and a risk taker who doesn't have fear. ”The sniper raised his
rifle and fired. The head fell heavily on the turret wall.” He is a good shot, yet he
is very young only a college aged student. “His face was the face of a student,
thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fantastic.” But to protect
his country he decided to take the risk and become a sniper. Maybe it's not what
he wants, but he feels he has to do it. “They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes
of a man who is used to looking at death.” This description shows that the sniper is older emotionally than his years in appearance, as he has seen too much to be
young and innocent any more. He is like a old man who has lived through war
and seen lives lost. It seems he is not new to this, that he has been doing this a
long time. He also really believes in his cause and what he is doing.
The other sniper hurts the Republican sniper but does not kill him. So the
Republican sniper pretends that he has been killed this shows he is a smart sniper.
“His ruse had succeeded;” the Republican sniper is smart and creative. He makes
a plan to kill the other sniper and succeeds. The Republican sniper is young,
fearless and good at his job, yet in the end will he really be happy with the
outcome of the war?
The point of view of this story is third person. The choice is very effective because
it first describes the actions of the Republican sniper. We learn what he is doing
but not why. We also do not know anything about the other characters. The point
of view focuses on one specific character, no names, no politics, no thoughts just
his actions. It helps us identify with the character without becoming attached.
On a roof top near the O’Connell Bridge, a Republican sniper
lay watching. Beside him lay his rifle and over his shoulders
was slung a pair of field glasses. His face was the face of a
student, think and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic.
The story give us a lot of descriptive detail about the main character. We start to
have a a connection to him. Also we have a feeling about