Irony In Liam O 'Flaherty's The Sniper'

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“The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty is a realistic fiction story set in the city of Dublin in the middle fo the night during a civil war. The sniper is camping on a roof in the middle of a fight, trying to take out the enemy sniper on the roof across the street. Because Liam O’Flaherty uses repetition and irony, he brings through the theme of all human lives have value. In “The Sniper” the narrator does not think about the value of the life of the rival sniper until it is too late. At first, he is happy that he pulls off his complex plan to fool his enemy and kills him, saving his own life in the process, but then he realizes what he is doing (3). He realizes that he has taken someone’s life and is, at first, excited about it. After he realises…show more content…
He uses both repetition and irony to accomplish this. O’Flaherty writes, “His teeth chattered he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody” (4). By repeating the word cursing, the author helps to paint the strong emotion of anger that the main character is feeling about what he just did. He is not only mad about this one man who is dying, he is mad about the whole war with the death and destruction that is going on all around him. The author also uses irony to his advantage in conveying the theme. The sniper, after realizing what he is doing, goes to see if the person is someone he knows. He thinks about various possibilities, maybe the person works with him or lives in his neighborhood, and this conveys a very impersonal relationship that the person has with him. But, he sees the body’s face and realizes that it is a very personal connection to him; that being that the dead body is his own brother (4). The author uses this twist of the sniper knowing who is killing very well to help show that the sniper now realizes what he has done on a very personal level. Because he did not consider that he was taking a life, he now realizes the value that all lives have, whether you know the person or
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