“The Free Staters. On a summer evening in June,

“The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty, published in 1923, is about the Irish civil war between Republicans and Free Staters. On a summer evening in June, two snipers are stationed on the rooftop on opposing sides on a street. The protagonist, a Republican, gets shot in his arm and loses feeling in the limb. He has to discover a way to escape and to get off the roof, otherwise he will be killed. To trick his enemy he raises his cap so that he will think it is his own head. While the hat gets shot, the injured sniper survives. Assuming that the Republican sniper is dead, he stands up on the roof. Whereas the injured sniper aims his revolver at his enemy and fires. The Free Staters’ body falls down on the streets and the survived sniper gets curious about who his opponent was. After turning the dead body over he realizes that he killed his own brother. Within his short story, O’Flaherty illustrates the significance of the impersonality of war. The sniper is firing and killing the enemy, who becomes a person once the main character sees the opponent’s body fall on the streets. ┬áThe story takes place near the O’Connell Bridge and the Liffey river, which runs through Dublin, Ireland. Close by the Four Court, an important government building, the two snipers are sojourn on opposing rooftops, while a few people are walking every now and then on the streets, such as the old lady who appears. On the rooftop, the protagonist is hiding behind a cover provided by a parapet. “The Sniper” is set on a summer evening in June during the Irish civil war. “Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon that shone through fleecy clouds, casting a pale light as of approaching dawn over the streets and the dark waters of the Liffey.” (O’Flaherty, 1923)1921-23 was a period of violence, commotion, and political opposition in Ireland and Great Britain. The small island was split into many factions caused by debates over religion and the Irish Free State, Northern Ireland today. Across the countryside and in the streets of Dublin these factions fought against each other. Both civilians and soldiers were affected by the prevalent/ruling violence. (Johnson, 2008-2009)The scene in the beginning of “The Sniper” is dark, scary and silent. This silence gets only interrupted by gunfire. The state of mind is gloomy, premonition and always stuffed with tension due to the violenceIn the beginning he is described as a young man with a “face of a student, thin and ascetic but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic.” (O’Flaherty, 1923). The protagonist has been trained to become a soldier and the initial situation describes him as someone who experienced violence, tightness, and solitude.At first he is impervious regarding the violence of war until he faces his victim, his own brother. The story’s mood vacillates feelings such as darkness, tension and violence while the sniper’s emotions follow the story progress.