Liam O’Flaherty

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What is the figurative language in Liam O'Flaherty's "The Sniper"?

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Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper," published in 1923, records a violent episode between two snipers during the Irish Civil War in which Irish nationalists fought each other over conflicting views of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which gave most of southern Ireland some independence from Great Britain but ultimately maintained Britain's sovereignty, splitting the Irish Republican Army into two violently opposed factions. The two snipers in "The Sniper" represent this factional dispute.

O'Flaherty's prose style is spare and direct, characterized by Anglo-Saxon diction , short sentences,...

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rachellopez | Student

Some figurative language used in The Sniper would be similes. Similes are comparisons using the words like or as. An example would be  “…rifles broke the silence of the night, spasmodically, like dogs barking on a lone farms” (110).

The Sniper also uses metaphors, or comparisons without using like or as. An example of a metaphor would be “His bullets would never pierce the steel that covered the gray monster” (111).

Personification is also used in The Sniper. Personification is giving a non-living object living/human characteristics. An example would be “The sniper could hear the dull panting of the motor” (111). This is personification because a motor cannot paint.

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science2014 | Student

Figurative Language comprises of: (a) Simile: comparing one thing to another using 'like' or 'as' (b) Metaphor: compares two things without using 'like' or 'as' (c) Personification: applying human characteristics to something that is not human (d) Hyperbole: expressing exaggeration.

In the story “The Sniper,” by Liam O'Flaherty, we find plenty of examples of such figurative languages. Some examples of personification in this story are: (i) “The sniper could hear the dull panting of the motor” (111) (ii) “…a bullet flattened itself against the parapet”(111) (iii) “He became bitten by remorse” (114). Examples of metaphor are: (i) “His bullets would never pierce the steel that covered the gray monster” (111) (ii) “The cloud of fear scattered from his mind . . .” (114) (iii) "Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon that shone through the fleecy clouds ...". Similes can be found in: (i) “…rifles broke the silence of the night, spasmodically, like dogs barking on a lone farms” (110) (ii) “…he was slowly falling forward, as if in a dream” (113) (iii) “…his right arm was paining him like a thousand devils” (113).

Besides, the use of the word 'swept' in the sentence "A paroxysm of pain swept through him" is an alliteration.

 

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