The Sniper Symbolism
It takes place as night falls in Dublin. Shots eccho. A young Republican sniper lies on a rooftop. He lights a cigarette; risks revealing himself. Instantantly, a bullet hits the parapet, behind which he hides.
A car approaches and halts down the street. A woman appears from a side-street. She speaks with the driver and points to the sniper. Without thinking, he shoots the driver, and the fleeing woman. A shot is fired from the opposite road-side. The republican sniper fails to hold onto his riffle; his forearm is numbed. He’s been hit. Untouched, he cares for his limb. He knows that he must be off the rooftop by morning. Difficult, considering …show more content…
This might be sheer age! But readers feel ceremonially; almost religiously. It makes the text appear significant. An example of the word-order: “Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon.” An example of powerful words: “The lust of battle died in him” Lust is a word people have an emotional reaction to, and always had; it’s the first of Christianity’s seven deathly sins. The setting is described: “enveloped in darkness”, except for the “dim light of the moon” shining through “fleece clouds” casting “pale light”, making everything seem ghostly, as if death were in the air. Another thing that contributes to ceremonial feelings is the “heartbeat-like” sentence-structure of some passages. “The sniper raised his rifle and fired. The head fell heavily on the turret wall. The woman darted toward the side street. The sniper fired again.“ Each sentence declares ONE fact. It leaves all emotional work to the reader, giving a realistic experience, which highlights war’s endless cynicism.
The story is told in 3rd person. The narrator is limited, as they know everything about the protagonist, but is detached from other characters, contrary to omniscient narrators, who are able to switch perspective. Had the narrator been omniscient, it would have ruined the story’s main point - the identity of the