The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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How does the author create suspense in the tale of "The Sniper"?

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A majority of the suspense is created in the first few paragraphs, because it is those paragraphs that describe the setting. Night has just arrived, and that automatically heightens the tension in the story. It would be far less suspenseful to have started the story by telling readers that it was a bright and sunny morning. Additionally, the story's setting puts it in a war-torn city. Heavy guns are firing in the distance, and sporadic machine-gun fire can be heard nearby. We as readers are being put into a dangerous location, and that creates suspense. On top of this is the fact that the war is a civil war. These are inherently worse than "normal" wars because they can pit brother against brother.

Another way that the author creates suspense is by having the protagonist do something that we are told is dangerous to begin with and that is ultimately not a good idea in the first place. The sniper knows that he should not light up his cigarette, because it can give away his position, yet he...

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