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Summary of "The Sniper"

Updated on April 24, 2011

The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty

In "the Sniper", by Liam O'Flaherty, a young sniper was caught in the

turmoil of an Irish civil war. The sniper lay on the roof engulfed in the

dark night of Dublin as the sounds of civil war echoed around him. He

decided to take the risk of lighting a cigarette; as soon as the match

flickered into light, a bullet hit the parapet that he was hiding behind.

He carefully gazed around the parapet and another bullet came whizzing at

him; this time he saw the flash, but his enemy was undercover on the

opposite roof. When an armored car rolled along the street below, an

informant ran across the street to point out the sniper's position to the

men in the vehicle. In one smooth movement, the sniper ended the lives of

the man in the turret and of the informant. Moments later, a shot fired

from the opposite roof hits the sniper in his right forearm. Because the

bullet had penetrated deep into the bone of his right arm, the sniper's

rifle was useless. He moved undercover to tend to his wound and used his

field dressing to make a quick bandage, clenching his teeth to fight the

pain. The sniper knew that he could not allow himself to be found on the

roof come morning because he would then be an easy target, so he devised a

plan to kill his enemy. He held his hat on the tip of his rifle above the

parapet. After the enemy fired, the sniper first allowed his hat to fall to

the street, then used his good arm to hold the rifle over the edge of the

parapet and drop it to the ground.


"His ruse had succeeded." The enemy, thinking he had killed his mark, left

the safety of his hiding place, giving the sniper a clear shot with his

revolver. He steadied his left arm and took the shot. As he watched his

enemy fall from the roof, the Republican sniper became filled with a

feeling of remorse. He threw his smoking revolver to the ground and when it

discharged a bullet past his head, he was frightened back to his senses.

The sniper decided to leave the roof and report to his commander. After

reaching the street, his curiosity overcame him and he wanted to know the

identity of the enemy who had put up such a challenging fight. He ran to

the body, through a hail of lead fired by a nearby machine gun, which

caused him to dive to the ground. When he turned over the corpse, he found

his brother dead in the street.

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      priyadarshini 3 years ago

      its nice but its too big summary

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      Deepa 3 years ago

      A very interesting story !!!!

      Summary no so well written as per me you could have also given a big twist in this story

    • profile image

      iyad 3 years ago

      boaring story

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      lakshmi 4 years ago

      nice summary

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      neaz 4 years ago

      gd summary

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      naveena 4 years ago

      good summary

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      sunitha 5 years ago

      hai iam sunitha this story is very interesting&enthuciastic.

    • profile image

      DHRUV CHHABRA 5 years ago

      VERY VERY INTERESTING STORY .