What kind of war is a civil war?  

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "civil war" is a bit misleading if you ask me.  At no point should anybody ever consider war to be civil.  Oh certainly civil gentlemen may fight in the war, but their actions are far from civil when the end goal is to kill more opponents than the opponent can kill.  There's nothing civilized about destroying your opponent by killing.  There's nothing civilized about killing.  

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "civil war" as a war being waged "between opposing groups of citizens of the same country."  

A civil war is a war like any other war.  There's violence and bloodshed.  The difference is that it's being fought between fellow countrymen.  Often a civil war will pit family member against family member and friend against friend.  That is the case in "The Sniper."  The text tells the reader that a civil war was being fought.  

"Republicans and Free Staters were waging civil war."

Then over the course of the next 1000 words or so, the reader reads a riveting narration of the cat and mouse game being fought between two enemy snipers.  The main character sniper is wounded, but he is ultimately victorious.  Unfortunately, his victory is quickly turned into a hollow victory.  

Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother´s face.

The enemy sniper turned out to be his brother.  So while the sniper may have won this battle and killed the enemy, what good did it do him?  That's a powerful point that the author is raising about civil war.  There are no real winners.  

elzbaker | Student

Civil wars have played out amongst each continent other than Antartica. Each world nation has encountered in at least one civil war. The main reason leading to civil wars was the Government. They commenced in attempt to overthrow or change a sitting government. Civil wars had a record for being rather short, on average they lasted for around a year and a half, according to the political scientist James Fearon. The style of war often depicted the disparity, which was a result in guerrilla warfare tactics established by the oppositional group.