The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty: Questions and Answers

Paper Type: 
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  850 Words
Date:  2021-03-12

1) What does the reader learn about the sniper in the first three paragraphs?

In the first three paragraphs the reader learns that the sniper is a young man fighting for the Republicans in a civil war, that is The Sniper’s setting. He is an enthusiast. On a rooftop near O'Connell Bridge, a Republican sniper lay watching. His face was the face of a student, thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic. They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death. (O'Flaherty. L., p. 1).

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2) What are some of the physical hardships that the sniper faces? How does he deal with these hardships?

A young man was hungry, thirsty and exhausted. He carefully had a snack and drank a draught of whiskey without leaving his post. He had eaten nothing since morning. He had been too excited to eat. He finished the sandwich, and, taking a flask of whiskey from his pocket, he took a short drought (O'Flaherty. L., p1). Later the sniper was hit. He has disinfected his wound and bandaged his shoulder, suffering from pain.

3) What does the sniper discover when he turns the dead soldier over?

According to The Sniper plot, when a young man turns the dead soldier over, he discovers that he knew the dead fellow. Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face (O'Flaherty. L., p 3). The reader doesn't know, was the dead really the sniper's brother or the soldier was his best friend before the civil war.

4) Why does the sniper feel no hesitation about killing the man in the tank or the woman informer?

The sniper felt no hesitation about killing the man in the tank because that man tried to kill him. A young sniper fired the first, saving his life. The second reason was that the man in the tank and the woman informer were enemies and he had to kill them. Also, he killed an old woman because she had shown his cover to the man in an armored car. She was pointing to the roof where the sniper lay. An informer. (O'Flaherty. L., p 1). The sniper struggled for his life.

5) Reread the passage in which the sniper kills his enemy with the revolver. What is his first reaction when the smoke clears? When he sees the dying soldier fall, how does his reaction change? Why does the sniper begin to curse?

When the smoke cleared, the sniper's first reaction was a cry of joy, he was glad to win, he was glad to be alive. When he saw the dying soldier fall, his mood changed: the sniper was broken-down, suffering from remorse. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse. [] His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody. (O'Flaherty. L., p. 3) He had lost his enthusiasm, he hated war, but he had to struggle.

6) What drives the sniper to discover the identity of the enemy?

The sniper thought that he had made a good shot. He felt a sudden curiosity as to the identity of the enemy sniper whom he had killed. (O'Flaherty. L., p. 3). The sniper tried to remember if he had known him before the split in the army.

7) Does the story make a convincing statement against war? Explain your answer.

Doing The Sniper analysis, I can agree that the story The Sniper made a convincing statement against war. In this story Liam O'Flaherty, The Sniper’s author, shows how the war changes the people, how it ruins their lives. The last paragraph shows that during the war people lose their relatives and close friends. The author shows how war destroys people's minds.

8) Theme

When trying to determine The Sniper’s theme, it is important to consider all the elements of the story. For example, writers often present their ideas through characters, especially through those whose views change drastically.

9) Think about the changes in the sniper's attitude. Find passages that show how he feels about the enemy and the war at the beginning of the story. At what point does his attitude change? Why? How does he feel at the end of the story? What is your reaction to the final sentence? What is the writer saying about this war? About all war? Can you think of more than one interpretation of brother's face in the last line?

In The Sniper short story Liam O'Flaherty illustrates how the person could change taking part in a war using the figure of a young sniper, who lost his desire for fighting experiencing one particular mission during which he broke inside because of the necessity to kill a person whom he knew. Reading the last paragraph, one can decide that it doesn't matter if the dead man was really the sniper's brother or not, but the important thing is that he knew the dead one well before the war. So, the theme of this story is how the war frustrates people's lives and ruins their minds.

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The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty: Questions and Answers. (2021, Mar 12). Retrieved from

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