Foreshadowing In The Sniper

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Family is said to be an unbreakable circle of strength. However, Liam O’Flaherty challenges the boundaries and limits of family in his short story, “The Sniper.” O’Flaherty uses his story to introduce a compelling way to break the bonds of a family through the ravages of war. Through the use of symbolism and foreshadowing, O’Flaherty emphasizes how the dire consequences of war can lead to separation of families.
O’Flaherty creates a deadly war scene to symbolize the dire consequence that war has on a family. In the exhilarating fight scene between the two snipers, the republican sniper finally gets a good opportunity and shoots the opposing sniper, “His enemy had been hit. He was reeling over the parapet in his death agony.”(O’Flaherty 3) …show more content…

When the sniper is wondering about who he killed he thinks, “Perhaps he has been his own company before the split of the war.” (4) Without the emphasis on the sniper wondering if he had known his enemy, the story would have moved on and not ended with the surprising manner intended. However, with O’Flaherty’s use of foreshadowing, the reader’s thoughts are satisfied and want to know the true ending of the story. O’Flaherty essentially indicates that the war has created such a divide, the consequential outcome can never be predicted or expected. Soon after the sniper fired his shot, “he became bitten by remorse” and “he revolted to the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy.”(3) In this moment, the sniper’s overall view on the war changes within seconds. The quick mood change and regret towards killing the enemy establishes a sense of foreshadowing to what could come as a consequence. If the sniper had missed and both of the opposing fighters had gotten away, the consequence of a family divide would not have been conveyed. However, O’Flaherty uses these situations to give readers the takeaway of not only the outcomes of war but, the outcome of a family divided through

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