In "The Sniper," what are the names of the two sides at war?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Readers are told that Ireland is currently in a civil war.  We are not told what each side is exactly fighting for, but we are told the names of each side.  

The name of one of the sides fighting in the conflict is the Republicans.  The name of the other group is the Free Staters.  

The protagonist sniper is a member of the Republican army, and the enemy sniper is therefore a Free Stater.  As the story progresses, readers see that the Republican sniper is an efficient and merciless killer.  He kills three enemy combatants all while under fire from the enemy sniper.  As the story concludes, readers learn with the sniper that the enemy sniper is the brother of the protagonist.  

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psyproffie | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

The Sniper is a short story by Irish author Liam O’Flaherty about the Irish fight for independence. The story focuses on those who fight for the Free Staters who want Irelands independence from Britain and on the Republicans who disagree with seceding from Britain and want to stay part of the monarchy.

The focus of the story is on the main character who is a Republican sniper who over the course of the story finds that he has killed his brother who is fighting for the Free Stater side of the war.


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