What would be three good aspects to compare and contrast in The Sniper and The Monkey's Paw?The two short stories are "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs and "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty.

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The two stories both qualify as suspenseful, The Monkey's Paw due to the mystical characteristics of the charm, the monkey's paw, and The Sniper because of the mystery of the identity of the enemy sniper that the Republican sniper fights and shoots, killing, thereby saving his own life.

Both stories have a surprise ending, the Whites, from The Monkey's Paw never expect that after they make wishes on the charm that they would end up sacrificing their son and end up with less than they had when they started.

In The Sniper, the civil war that erupts in Ireland that puts brother against brother, literally ends up illustrating the futility of war. Because the Republican Sniper goes down to the street to discover the identity of the man that he killed and discovers that it is his brother.

The two stories are similar in that in actions in both result in the death of a family member.  Each story's plot involves the sacrificial death of a family member, unexpectedly.  In The Monkey's Paw, Mr. White never imagined that his wish for 200 pounds would result in his son's untimely death.

In The Sniper, the Republican Sniper is on the rooftop to protect the town, he never imagined that when he was confronted with an enemy that the person would actually be his own brother.  The two brothers were trying to kill each other without knowing that they were shooting at a brother.

In The Monkey's Paw, Mr. & Mrs. White simply want 200 pounds to make their lives easier, but when Mr. White makes the wish, and nothing happens, the family believes that the monkey's paw is a fake.

Both stories deal with loss, death and a degree of isolation.  The sniper is alone on the roof, and the story gives the sense that he feels totally alone, he is hungry, he can't be seen, or he might be shot.  The White family live in the country isolated somewhat from the rest of the world, and when Sergeant Major Morris visits them, and warns them not to take the monkey's paw because of its dangerous, mystical ability, they don't believe him.

In war, as The Sniper illustrates is futile, it is foolish, especially in a Civil War, that anything will be solved without blood shed and loss.

Both stories present characters who have a goal, in The Sniper, it is to defend their political ideas and beat their opponent, the enemy, other Irish people.  In The Monkey's Paw, the Whites want to make their life easier by having extra money, but instead, they end up with less than they started, they end up with no money and the untimely death of their son.


Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question