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"The Sniper" shows how a bloody and violent method to attain a goal only brings about...

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user5890273 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM via web

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"The Sniper" shows how a bloody and violent method to attain a goal only brings about defeat and grief. With reference to the story, state how this came true for the republican sniper.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM (Answer #1)

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There is little in way of redemption and resolution brought about by the violence and bloodshed in "The Sniper."  The story brings this out in a full arc.  There is the initial focus and almost excitement that the sniper has in accomplishing his mission.  He does so with a sense of absolute certainty and a sense of drive to what he does.  He denies himself food, and all other "distractions" to ensure that he accomplishes what he set out to do.  There is focus and joy in what he does, clearly articulated when the sniper elatedly responds to the target being destroyed.

Yet, the realization that follows is where it becomes painfully evident that how the bloody and violent ends through his his goal was achieved proved to be empty.  Consider the reflections that the sniper has to this point:

The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse. The sweat stood out in beads on his forehead. Weakened by his wound and the long summer day of fasting and watching on the roof, he revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy. His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.

The reflective notion of the sniper to understand the futility of war and violence is seen in this moment.  It is an instant in which the sniper understands the implications of his action as one in which violence and bloodshed is shown to be empty of value.  This is reaffirmed with the story's resolution.

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