The Sniper Narrative Structure and Theme

Topics: Narratology, Fiction, KILL Pages: 1 (448 words) Published: January 20, 2014
Wars can have a devastating effect on families and people. The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty tells the story of a sniper, who is unnamed, kills others and fights for his life during a war in Ireland. The story clearly shows how destructive a war can be to a human being as well as a country. It also uses narrative structure to highlight the theme. The narrative structure used in the story is like any other narrative structure. Its conflict is the unnamed sniper surviving to not get killed. When he lit a cigarette, an enemy spotted him and gets shot at. This begins the conflict, he has to kill the other sniper or he will die. The rising action follows suit and the sniper has to kill a soldier in an armored carrier and the woman who attempts to inform the enemy of the sniper’s location. During this, the sniper got shot in the arm and it worsens the situation. The climax happens when the sniper tricks the enemy into thinking he was killed. At this point, his situation is worse than ever, he is wounded. The works however and the enemy is killed. Falling action sinks in when he feels emotions about his kill and the resolution happens when he realizes he killed his own brother. The strong and clear narrative structure helps strengthen the story and makes it appealing by centering in on the conflict. The story’s theme is clearly stating that war is damaging to the people who battle. “He stooped to pick the rifle up. He couldn’t lift it. His forearm was dead. ‘I’m hit,’ he muttered.” This is the physical damage that happens to a soldier in war. We aren’t surprised that the sniper gets shot as soldiers usually get wounded. The sniper also suffers psychological wounds, “The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse… He revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy.” Earlier, the sniper shot a woman and kills her without any reaction. Now that the battle is over, the sniper can now reflect upon his actions; he felt disgusted for what he had...
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