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Response to the Sniper by Liam O’flaherty

In: English and Literature

Submitted By annshinewu
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Response to The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty
“The Sniper,” by Liam O’Flaherty takes place in Dublin during the Civil War. The narrator is a sniper and through this story, he battles his various characters, including his own brother. In the resolution, he ends up killing his own brother without knowing his true identity. The theme in “The Sniper” is that war knows no boundaries as it will reduce human beings to mere targets and destroy all identities. This is shown through the characters, the plot, the mood, and the setting.
The first key factor in determining the theme is the setting of the story. The story took place in Dublin, Ireland during the Civil War. This setting is incredibly important, as it is the main component of theme. Without the war as the setting, war cannot be shown and the theme wouldn’t be shown. The setting correlates with the mood as it creates an intense, yet heavy and bittersweet mood. This raises suspense and builds up till the climax. This greatly impacts the theme as the author wants the readers to live through the story as if they were the main character.
From the very beginning, to the very end, no names of characters are mentioned. Instead, the author chooses to reference to people using general words such as “the sniper,” “the old woman,” or “the man.” This detail about the story is incredibly important because the author is trying to emphasize that war has destroyed the identities of people. A key factor in an identity is the name of person, if a person has lost their name, they have lost who they are. This is similar to the book, “Les Misérables.” Both the authors have show that people have lost their names through war or prison. In Les Misérables, the main character, Jean Valjean has another identity of “Prisoner Number 24601,” and in “The Sniper” the main character is only referenced as a “sniper.” This technique is used to...

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