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In Liam O'Flaherty's

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Introduction

Name : Raghav Goyal Grade : X B IGCSE Date : 7th July 2005 English Assignment The Sniper How does the author depict the turmoil and plight in a war-torn city in "The Sniper"? Anger, pain, death and remorse- all unpleasant, but all are faced and handled in every war. In Liam O'Flaherty's "The Sniper," all of these are brought to an acute reality in a single war-torn city. Strong cerebral convictions and opposing philosophies, due to which people want to destroy the seemingly "wrong" plague this world and are the main reason for plight. To aid in his creation of such emotional conflict, turmoil and plight, the author has portrayed the sniper as a very controversial character. This story is oriented around one character in the Civil War which he should not even be in as he is mentioned to be a "student" in the story. The story whose main theme is violence, attempts to chronicle the short span of fanaticism that inspires youth that leads to turmoil in the first place. ...read more.

Middle

This death however, is highlighted by a depiction in slow motion as the rebel falls into an empty bullet-torn street. Witnessing this gruesome death, a contrasting remorseful feeling fills the sniper's mind as the "lust" for battle dies in him. As he prepares to leave, emotions make him curious to know the identity of his victim. After risking his life in this act, he sees that he has shot his own brother. Beginning as "twilight faded into night," the action of the story instantly becomes more dangerous. The course and characters of this story are not unique to this one situation but are an index to all violence everywhere. When the Republican sniper finds out that his victim was his own brother, he learns how cruel war is. Just a difference in opinion can tear one family apart. A semi-abrupt ending to the story (the author does not explain the emotion felt by the sniper upon finding the identity of his victim) ...read more.

Conclusion

The only direct speech in the entire story is "Christ, I'm hit." The turmoil 'overpowers' the life of a soldier. The gory sights in the city of Dublin, torn apart and paralysed with war and fear is depicted by people bleeding in the gutters till they die and rapid gunfire everywhere followed by a deafening silence. Killing is done in cold blood and even then, the sniper maintains calm until he kills his opponent sniper on the opposite rooftop. This calmness in goriness clearly justifies the turmoil and the plight that the author shows in this short story. The author uses the course and characters of the story to chart the course of the characters in every scene of violence everywhere. The emphasis given to the bloodshed, the war, the loss of life is more than what is given to the feelings, the people and the life and in this way Liam O'Flaherty has depicted turmoil and plight in the war-torn city in this short story titled "The Sniper". (Word Count- 999 words) ...read more.

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