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Analysis of the conflict in "The Sniper" and its resolution

Summary:

The main conflict in "The Sniper" is a man-versus-man struggle during the Irish Civil War, where a Republican sniper must outwit and kill an enemy sniper. The resolution occurs when the protagonist kills his opponent, only to discover upon checking the body that the enemy sniper is his brother, highlighting the personal cost of war.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

There are many different conflicts in "The Sniper." For one thing, there is the military conflict in which the title character is engaged. The protagonist is a member of the anti-Free State, or Republican forces, whereas his opponents are fighting for the Irish government. The Civil War that unfolded between Republicans and Free State forces was bloody and bitter and often involved members of the same family fighting against each other.

That leads us on to the next conflict in the story, that between the sniper and his brother. Initially, the sniper doesn't know that the enemy at which he's shooting is in fact his brother, but that doesn't alter the fact that the two brothers have nonetheless been involved in a fraternal conflict. This is what civil war can do to families; it can split them apart and destroy them. In the sniper's inadvertent killing of his own brother, we see a stark illustration of this.

Finally, there is the conflict that the protagonist experiences when he's hit by his brother in the arm. At that terrible moment, he's forced to make a decision: should he stand his ground or try to get off the roof as quickly as possible? The sniper gets off the roof, but not before shooting dead his opposite number, who, as he will discover, happens to be his brother.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The primary, driving conflict of "The Sniper" is man versus man, given that it follows the lethal confrontation between two snipers amid the Irish Civil War. The Republican sniper is the story's protagonist, while his brother (though he will not realize this until the story's ending) is its antagonist, with each intent on killing the other.

However, stories are rarely limited to only one form of conflict, and "The Sniper" is no different. In addition to man versus man, it also contains internalized conflict, especially after the sniper is shot. Wounded and left with only one functioning arm, his situation requires mastering his own battered body and maintaining his nerves while facing the highest of stakes, stuck in a literal life-and-death struggle.

Finally, I think there is a strong argument that this story contains a man-versus-society conflict as well, given its setting amid Civil War conditions. Aside from the lethal contest between brother and brother, for example, we also observe an old woman acting as an informant (who is gunned down on the street by the sniper). Indeed, the Sniper himself seems to recognize the brutality and insanity of these Civil War conditions, and he is shown viscerally reacting against it:

The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse .... He began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.

Thus, while this story's primary conflict is man versus man, following the lethal confrontation between the two enemy snipers, that driving conflict is deepened by these other forms of conflict (both internal and external) that unfold simultaneously to it.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The main conflict in Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper" is a man-versus-man conflict. It is a kill-or-be-killed scenario for the Republican sniper, who must outwit his enemy before it is too late. The Republican sniper's primary enemy is the Free-Stater sniper stationed on the opposite rooftop. The enemy sniper successfully shoots the Republican sniper in the forearm, forcing him to create an elaborate ruse to survive. The Republican sniper demonstrates his resourcefulness and ingenuity by tricking the enemy sniper into believing he is dead. Once the enemy sniper lets down his guard, the Republican sniper shoots and kills him.

In addition to the obvious man-versus-man conflict, the Republican sniper also experiences an internal man-versus-self conflict. After killing the enemy sniper, the protagonist becomes "bitten by remorse" and curses himself. The sniper also narrowly avoids accidentally shooting himself after throwing his revolver to the ground. The Republican sniper's guilt and emotional outburst reveal his internal struggle. He is appalled that he has transformed into a killing machine and is exhausted by the bloodshed. The brutal nature of war has left the Republican sniper feeling like a shell of his former self, and he is traumatized by the horrors of war. Once the Republican discovers that the enemy sniper is actually his brother, he experiences another emotional rollercoaster and is forced to deal with the guilt of killing his sibling.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The Sniper is set during the Irish civil war.  Just like in any civil war, neighbors, friends, and family often found themselves on opposite sides of the war. 

In this story, the main character is caught in a life or death situation and it comes down to killing someone or being killed himself.  He and another sniper are both on different rooftops.  The sniper shoots and kills an enemy soldier and in the end of the story discovers he has killed his brother.  The story simply ends with "Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face."

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The conflict in The Sniper arises out of the Irish civil war, where, literally the fight in Ireland was brother against brother. It is difficult to know who the enemy is in a fight of this kind.

In the story, a sniper is perched on a roof, watching for enemy activity in the town below.  He spots an old woman, who appears to be helping the enemy. He shoots at the soldier she spoke to and then shoots her.

Then an enemy sniper fires a shot from a neighboring rooftop and the sniper is hit.  After a long drawn out process the sniper finally fires and hits the enemy sniper, killing the man who falls off the roof. 

When the Sniper, the narrator, ends up shooting his enemy, he goes down from the rooftop to look at the face of the enemy that he killed. When he turns the body over, he discovers that the enemy that he shot is in fact his own brother.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The first conflict is within the sniper himself. He is young and therefore should be at least somewhat innocent and inexperienced. But he finds himself in a civil war, faced with gruesome experiences of violence and death. 

His face was the face of a student, thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic. They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death. 

Young, perhaps once full of hope and open minded, he is also a single-minded soldier in the Irish Civil War. His conflict also lies in the fact that he is fighting his own countrymen - "brother against brother" as civil wars are often called. This resurfaces at the end of the story. 

The general conflict in the plot is the war itself. Defending himself, the sniper feels he must shoot an old woman who has identified his position. He doesn't have time to react and/or reflect on killing the woman because the enemy sniper begins firing at him. 

However, after killing the enemy sniper, his internal conflict emerges again. "The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse." Frustrated, he throws his gun and it fires, almost hitting him. This jars him out of remorse back to his focused state as a soldier and he even laughs, perhaps out of nervousness or simply because his emotions are all over the place and he doesn't know how to react. In the end, the general conflict of civil war and his internal conflict of duty/remorse resurface when he looks at his enemy and sees his "brother." This can be taken literally or figuratively since civil wars are often considered wars of brother against brother: wars fought between fellow countrymen. 

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

"The Sniper" is set during the Irish Civil War, which occurred between 1922 and 1923. In this war, the Irish Republican Army (the "Republicans" in this story) wanted complete independence from England while the Irish Free Staters wanted an independent government for Ireland but to remain part of the British Empire.

The story focuses on one sniper who lies in wait on a rooftop, trying to kill any enemy who crosses his path. The conflict is thus man versus man, particularly when a sniper on an opposing rooftop begins shooting at him. When the sniper shoots at a man in an enemy car and then at a female informant on the street below, he makes his position known to the enemy on the building opposite him. This intensifies the conflict, and the sniper is shot in the arm; the bullet lodges there, rendering his arm virtually useless.

In order to survive, the sniper must determine how to kill the enemy sniper opposite him. He constructs an elaborate plan to make it seem as if he has fallen off the rooftop after being shot; his shooter then exposes himself for a better look at the man he believes he has killed. With a clear target now in view, the sniper shoots his enemy, watching him fall to the ground below in "death agony."

The conflict actually shifts at the end of the story when it becomes clear that clear that the "enemy" the sniper has shot and killed is actually his own brother. This implies the further conflict of man versus self; the sniper will presumably be tormented by his actions once he learns the identity of his victim. Yet this is a harsh truth of civil wars, when lines of alliances are difficult to discern and become inextricably bound to the relationships people have cultivated in a single country.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The internal conflict in Liam O'Flaherty short story about the Irish civil war "The Sniper" is patriotism versus morale.

Here we have a soldier, who is a sniper, in a typical monitor duty while he is having a snack to eat. Noticing that there might be enemy fire coming his way, he gets in position to attack. After failed attempts from both sides, one enemy bullet finally gets the sniper. Conversely, the sniper is able to shoot at the enemy and kill one of the soldiers.

However, in a moment of vulnerability, the sniper curses the war and the fact that he has to be a part of it. He would have not killed a man had he needed to. He does feel remorse, and he develops a quaint curiosity to know who the man is. After all, prior to the way, he and this other soldier may have been friends, or at least acquaintances.

The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse. The sweat stood out in beads on his forehead. Weakened by his wound and the long summer day of fasting and watching on the roof, he revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy. His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.

When the sniper goes to check who it is, he is shocked to see that he has shot and killed none other than his own brother. This is a strong message about the horrors of war, and the little choice some individuals have to be or not be a part of it.


That is precisely what the internal conflict of the sniper is: He is part of something that he does not plan. He is part of an army as a result of his patriotism. He kills as a result of being a part of the army. However, he is not a warrior, nor a killer. He would otherwise turn his back to it and refuse flat out to do what he has been told.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The presence of an enemy sniper poses challenges to the success of the Republican sniper's objectives; this presence also poses a threat to his life. Ironically, though, there is also a conflict after the sniper is safe.

When the sniper tries to smoke a cigarette, a shot is fired at him. An enemy sniper on a nearby rooftop knows that he is on top of the building. Shortly after, an armored car pulls up below. The sniper knows that bullets will not permeate this vehicle. Soon, an old woman comes around the corner of a side street and approaches the armored car. As the gunner emerges from the turret, she points to where the sniper lies on the roof above them. Taking advantage of the gunner's exposure, the sniper quickly shoots his enemy before he can aim the big gun. Terrified, the old woman tries to run back to the side street, but the sniper fires at her and kills her, too.

Suddenly from the opposite roof a shot rang out and the sniper dropped his rifle with a curse. The rifle clattered to the roof. The sniper thought the noise would wake the dead. He stooped to pick the rifle up. He couldn't lift it. His forearm was dead.

The enemy sniper on the opposite rooftop has hit the Republican sniper and wounded him. The sniper is now very vulnerable because he cannot use his rifle. His only chance for survival is to kill the enemy with his revolver. Because this shot will be more difficult, the sniper devises a plan. He places his hat onto the rifle, which he stands on end. When the other sniper fires at this hat, thinking it is on the man's head, the hat falls to the street. As it does so, the wounded sniper drops his arm over the edge of the building and lets the rifle fall to the street. Fooled by the ploy, the other sniper believes that he has killed his foe; he stands up and looks across with his head "silhouetted by the Western sky." 

The distance was about fifty yards—a hard shot in the dim light, and his right arm was paining him like a thousand devils. He took steady aim....

The sniper hits his target. The dying enemy tumbles end over end to the street.

The worst conflict of all emerges in the heart of the successful sniper once he is on the street. He goes to the dead sniper, curious to see who the man was. When he rolls the body over, the sniper recognizes the face of his brother.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The central conflict is set against the larger struggles of the Irish Civil War, which came after Irish republicans launched an armed uprising against British rule and proclaimed the Irish Republic. It is this civil war between Irish Catholic and Irish Protestants that is the setting of "The Sniper." A sniper for the Irish Republic is the protagonist. He is on the roof of a building, and he fights against another sniper who is on the other political side. This battle is the main conflict of the story.

In 1922, Ireland was partitioned under British law by the Government of Ireland Act, an act which created Northern Ireland. However, not long after this division of Ireland, political and sectarian violence broke out between republicans (Catholics) and loyalists (Protestants). This civil war, called the Irish War of Independence, continued for eleven months. The protagonist and titular character of the sniper is part of this fight to remove the British from Ireland. When he is shot by the sniper who has aligned himself with the British rule of northern Ireland, the protagonist struggles to retaliate against this sniper in his effort to survive. Through his clever plan, the protagonist tricks the other sniper and is then able to shoot and kill this other man. Tragically, when he arrives on the street where the dead man lies, the protagonist discovers that he has shot his brother.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

The main external conflict in "The Sniper" is the sniper's battle to stay alive.  This conflict involves multiple parts.  The conflict begins when the sniper lights his cigarette and gives his position away to the Free Stater sniper.  From this moment forward, the Republican sniper is in a battle for his life.  The enemy knows his location, and he must eliminate everybody that knows his location.  An old woman on the street flags down a soldier in an armored vehicle, and she points up to the sniper's location.  If the sniper doesn't kill those two on the street, then reinforcements can be called to his location.  Under fire from the other sniper, the protagonist successfully kills the old woman and the soldier.  The sniper then uses some trickery to kill the enemy sniper.  

Another external conflict that exists in the story is the war itself.  It is a civil war between the Irish Republicans and the Irish Free Staters.  

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

When we think of conflict there are two kinds that we refer to in the study of literature: internal and external. Internal conflict is normally used to refer to some kind of internal struggle, for example a climber who needs to physically and mentally urge himself on to reach the top of a mountain. External conflict is referred to when the conflict is between a character and another character.

Clearly, then, "The Sniper" shows us an example of external conflict, as the story presents us with a grim fight to the death between to snipers from rival sides of the Irish Civil War, that split the country apart, and also many families, as some family members took opposing forces. Consider the following paragraph:

The sniper lay for a long time nursing his wounded arm and planning escape. Morning must not find him wounded on the roof. The enemy on the opposite roof covered his escape. he must kill that enemy and he could not use his rifle. He had only a revolver to do it. Then he thought of a plan.

This then presents us with the title character of this excellent short story working out how to resolve the external conflict he faces and kill his opponent, thereby ensuring his escape.

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What is the conflict in "The Sniper"?

In the story, "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, the story is set during the Irish Civil War in the 1920's.  Just as in the Civil War in our country in the 1860's, everyone must choose sides which often pitted members of one family against each other.  In this Irish family, two brothers choose different sides and fight against each other.  The conflict is the war, the fight against each other when the sniper is trying to kill the other shooter not realizing it is his brother, and I think the last conflict is the insanity of war.  The irony of the story is that after all the work of making the perfect shot to kill the man on the other rooftop, the sniper finds out that he has killed his own brother. I think the author uses this terrible irony to reinforce the idea that war is seldom a solution and not worth the terrible cost.

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What types of conflicts are present in "The Sniper" and why?

One conflict in the story is the civil war being fought that provides the vivid setting for the story: "Republicans and Free Staters were waging civil war."  On a smaller scale, though, there is the battle between the "sniper", the main character in the story, and the "other sniper" in the story who tries to shoot him, who we come to find out later is his brother.

I'm not sure what other conflicts you will need to answer this question, but the main character also has an "internal" conflict: once he kills the other man and goes down to see his identity, he "became bitten by remorse" and began cursing everything.  He was initially excited about killing the enemy, but then has a change of heart once the "lust of battle died in him."

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How is the conflict resolved in "The Sniper"?

There are two types of conflict portrayed in the short story 'The Sniper' by Liam O'Flaherty. The first is the conflict on the roof between the two fighters. The main character in the story ends that one by shooting his opponent - the irony is that that reveals another conflict in the fact that the opponent is his own brother. That in turn resolves another conflict as it means that,unless there was a mistake, the brother must have been fighting for the other side.

The second big conflict was of the course The Easter Rising or rebellion against the English occupation by Ireland in which the brothers fought. This has never been resolved! Even during the Peace Process now, arguments and debate still rage over the level of British involvement in the North. Some degree of messy resolution was achieved by partition, but only some of the southern counties achieved independence.Some people see that as a cave-in and a terrible mistake.

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How is the conflict resolved in "The Sniper"?

The Sniper isn't a traditional plot line in that there is a conflict and a resolution. It is a surprise ending that heightens the message in the story--that war is senseless because if all the death and destruction. It is horrific for a feeling man to have to kill and then, at the worst moment, when he sees he has killed his brother, it makes the tragedy of war even worse.

If I were to pin down the most critical moment in the story, I would say it is when he turns the man over and sees it is his brother.

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How is the conflict resolved in "The Sniper"?

The final paragraph of Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper" reads:

The sniper darted across the street. A machine gun tore up the ground around him with a hail of bullets, but he escaped. He threw himself face downward beside the corpse. The machine gun stopped.

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

This is how the story ends: After much efforts trying to survive from an enemy attack, the sniper shoots an enemy, kills him, only to find out that he had just killed his own brother. This is final, and there is no resolution to it. In other words, the internal conflict in the short story "The Sniper" is never resolved.

There can be no resolution to this story, either way. The Irish civil war has been an ongoing movement that has had no ending since its beginnings. In fact, it is a brother versus brother battle that continuously is questioned as far as its real purpose and its actual goal. Since it seems to be a matter of egotism, unfounded causes, and a disproportionate sense of patriotism, it is hard to find a good way to come to any point of agreement. It is as if the war was meant to be, to stay,and to go on. Therefore, the ending of the story clearly shows that there is no resolution: You do what you are told, and you live with it or die from it. There is never a resolution from war. It is just a political machine that never stops its operations.

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How is the conflict resolved in "The Sniper"?

Liam O'Flaherty's "The Sniper" takes place during the Battle of Dublin and involves a sniper who struggles to survive after being shot by an enemy on the opposite roof. As was stated in the previous post, the conflict between each sniper would be considered man vs. man. However, O'Flaherty does reveal some internal conflict throughout the short story. After the sniper successfully shoots his enemy and watches him fall to his death, the sniper cannot look at the dead man's body on the pavement. He begins to curse the war and himself. O'Flaherty writes that the sniper became "bitten by remorse." The sniper then looks at his revolver and throws it at the roof. Although O'Flaherty never directly comments on what bothers the sniper internally, it is implied that the sniper is sick of killing other Irish citizens. At the end of the story, the sniper looks at the body of his enemy who happens to be his brother. O'Flaherty does not depict the soldier's reaction, but one can surmise that the sniper is sickened to find out he killed his brother. Perhaps the sniper's internal conflict is his inability to come to terms with the fact that he is murdering his fellow countrymen. O'Flaherty leaves no evidence to suggest that the sniper has resolved his internal conflict. 

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How is the conflict resolved in "The Sniper"?

In Liam O'Flaherty's brilliant anti-war short story "The Sniper" I do not believe the reader can tell whether the Republican sniper has an internal conflict. The story is told from a detached, almost totally objective perspective. We get very few hints into the psychology of the sniper other than the fact that he is a "fanatic" and gives a "cry of joy" after shooting the opposition sniper.

The only discernible conflict in the story is man vs. man. Two snipers are at war on the rooftops of Dublin and, while we view the action from the Republican snipers vantage point, we know almost nothing about his feelings toward his duty other than he is totally committed to his task and goes about it with cold calculation in killing a woman, a tank commander and the opposing sniper. 

Even at the end of the story when the sniper discovers that the sniper he killed was his own brother the writer reveals no emotion. The story simply ends. If there is an internal conflict within the sniper about fighting on the opposite side from a member of his family O'Flaherty is totally mute on the issue. 

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What is the main conflict in "The Sniper" and how is it portrayed?

“The Sniper”, by Liam O’Flaherty offers several forms of conflict, both internal and external. Of course, the sniper is battling against external forcers in the form of enemy fire. He kills the soldier who prepares to fire at him from an armored car. He also kills the woman on the street, an informant who is apparently working with his opposition. Further, he struggles with internal conflicts, such as hunger, thirst and pain (when the opponent sniper fires a shot into his arm). Still, it is likely that the greatest conflict for the sniper is the civil war.  The quotations below illustrate the sniper’s remorse:

Although the sniper hit his target, his response to the shooting is remorseful rather than victorious. (“The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse.”)

Likewise, the streets are clear. He can leave the rooftop without encountering the dangerous bullet fire from his enemies. However, he is dissatisfied and disgusted by his role in the war. (“Weakened by his wound and the long summer day of fasting and watching on the roof, he revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy. His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.”)

Finally, when he sees the other sniper, dead in the street, his remorse and disgust are heightened by the fact that he has killed his brother. (“Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face.”) The death of his brother would surely be a loss under any circumstance. However, the realization that he is the responsible party must certainly create greater disdain for his role in the civil war that wrecks his country.

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