3.07_Surprise.docx - Part I 1 \u201cThe Sniper\u201d 2 \u201cThe Sniper\u201d is set in the early 1920\u2019s during the Irish Civil War between the Republicans and

3.07_Surprise.docx - Part I 1 u201cThe Sniperu201d 2...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.

Part I 1. “The Sniper” 2. “The Sniper” is set in the early 1920’s during the Irish Civil War between the Republicans and the Free Staters. The action takes place in Dublin in the middle of a battle on top of a rooftop, as night falls. The story is told from the point of view of a Republican sniper who is trying to kill an enemy below, while being shot at by another sniper from another rooftop. There is a mood of momentary quiet and calm amid the tumultuous violence; the firing of guns is likened to the distant and mundane noise of dogs barking: “Here and there through the city, machine guns and rifles broke the silence of the night, spasmodically, like dogs barking on lone farms” As “darkness envelops Dublin” we feel that we are in a secret world--it captures the feeling of the sniper, whose job is to remain hidden and quiet. 3. One of the main themes of the story is the destructive force a civil war can have on a society, pitting even family and friends against each other. It is only through the last sentence of the story that this theme becomes evident: “Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face”. Up to that moment, there was something impersonal about the story. The sniper is simply doing a job; he calmly eats a sandwich, and smokes a cigarette, waiting for his opportunity. The sniper on the other building is simply a faceless enemy who has to be killed. That last, very simple but powerful sentence changes everything, and reminds us that the enemy is not just an unseen figure with no identity. Even if it hadn’t been his brother, it was still a real person, who has real feelings and people who care about him, as well as fellow countrymen. But because it is the main character’s own brother, it highlights in the most emotional way the deadly consequences of war, especially civil war.
Image of page 1
Image of page 2

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture