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What is the irony in this story The sniper by Liam O'Flaherty?

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nahila | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2008 at 10:06 AM via web

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What is the irony in this story The sniper by Liam O'Flaherty?

Tagged with irony, literature, the sniper

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 30, 2008 at 10:26 AM (Answer #1)

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The irony is that the sniper kills his own brother. The story is set during the Irish civil war in the 1920's. Each brother has chosen a different side on which to fight. During his battle with an enemy sniper, the author foreshadows the ending by showing how similar each shooter is. Both are good shots and both are on rooftops that are on the same level. Both seem to be experienced riflemen. However, once the sniper has killed his enemy, he begins to change. He looks over the rooftop, sees the people he has killed, and begins to feel sorry for what he has done. He begins to curse at himself and at the war. The irony is made complete when he decides he must see the soldier he has just shot. He risks his life, dodges machine gun fire only to discover that it is brother who is lying dead on the street.

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annibannani | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:08 AM (Answer #2)

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The irony of the story is that the fighting of the two armies and the war had split up friends and families. And when he did not know that his own brother was fighting for the opposite army, he killed him by accident.

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awaldner | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:16 AM (Answer #3)

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The irony in the story is the two snipers are fighting on opposing sides, they are on the roof of buildings facing each other. They are both similar, they are both snipers and both have a good shot. In the end the sniper ends up killing the other sniper. As he comes down from the building he begans to get curious about who he killed. He goes to see and realizes that he killed his own brother!

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suchita | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM (Answer #4)

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the irony of the story "The Sniper" is quite clear.The story ends ironically when the republican sniper realizes that the enemy he killed was his own brother.The irony becomes apparent when the sniper, who assumes he has killed his enemy, unexpectedly ends up killing his own brother.In war, no one has an identity.Everyone is a target for others,In the story the sniper kills his enemy without even realising that he might know him as they had worked together before the split in the army.But at last, he realised that war can only lead to sorrow and death of our dear ones as the republican sniper lost hisown brother

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