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The Sniper Analysis

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The Sniper The author of The Sniper is very successful in using a range of literary techniques to create atmosphere and suspense. This includes the employment of many words that relate to the way the story ends. When the sniper finds that he has killed his brother, the story ends and therefore we do not witness his reaction. Instead the author uses descriptive language that creates tension and also depicts the shocking discovery the sniper makes. In his first description of the sniper, the author he tells us he has "the face of a student". This is significant because it implies youth, vulnerability and lack of experience. We assume this of the sniper and from this we can infer that the young sniper is likely to be ignorant of something important, such as his enemy's identity. He uses the term "fanatic" to portray the sniper's youthful excitement at being part of the civil war. However, the most significant part of this initial description is when the author says: "The eyes of a man who is used to looking at death". ...read more.


An interesting example is when the author repeats the word "flash" several times within a few sentences. This word could relate to how a swift action, such as firing a gun, can sometimes only last a second, however the effects of this action can last a lifetime. More importantly, it conveys the unexpected shock over which the sniper has no control. Furthermore, when the Sniper is hit in his arm, the author repeatedly says that he is trying to "overcome the pain". This is significant because it reflects the hardship he will face when he discovers that not only has his brother died but he is responsible for his death. In the future he will probably suffer the inability to overcome the guilt that resulted from his action. The repetition of the phrase enforces the serious impact his brother's death will have on him. Once a brother is lost, no matter what the cause, you cannot fully recover from it; a brother is an extended part of you. ...read more.


It also shows that he does not feel remorseful because he laughs at himself for feeling frightened. Another effect of his youth and naivety is that he feels the best way to cope with guilt is to ignore the feelings, which is demonstrated when "coming to his senses" means forgetting the remorse he feels for killing someone. Another very ironic phrase is when the sniper hits his enemy and "uttered a cry of joy". He feels triumphant because he has defeated his enemy, yet when he realises the true identity he will regret this feeling of joy and will feel guilty and sorrowful. Also, he may well cry when he realises this, but for a very different reason. Finally, the use of the word "paroxysm" is effective because it expresses the extreme change of emotions experienced by the sniper. However, the "paroxysm of pain" will seem belittled by the pain the sniper feels when he finds his brother is dead. The phrase portrays a painful and unexpected change in emotional state. The effect is devastating and impossible to overcome. ...read more.

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