the sniper بيان شفاهي داستان
......."The Sniper" takes place in Ireland's largest city, Dublin, on the country's east coast on Dublin Bay, an inlet of the Irish Sea. The time is nightfall in June after the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. The sniper posts himself on a rooftop in central Dublin near the Four Courts building, which houses the high courts of Ireland, and O'Connell Bridge, which spans the River Liffey. The Liffey divides the city into two sections as it runs eastward to Dublin Bay.
IRA Sniper: Man posted on a roof in Dublin.
Opposing Sniper: Enemy gunman posted on a roof across from the IRA sniper.
Turret Gunner: Man shot by the IRA sniper.
Old Woman: Informer who betrays the position of the IRA sniper to the turret gunner.
Unseen Machine Gunner: Person who fires at the IRA sniper after the latter leaves the roof.
.......O'Flaherty wrote "The Sniper" in limited third-person point of view, in which he presents the thoughts of the IRA sniper but does not present the thoughts of any other character. He wrote "The Sniper" while Ireland was embroiled in sectarian conflict.
.......At nightfall in Dublin, heavy guns and small arms boom and crack intermittently near the River Liffey as Republicans battle Free Staters. From a rooftop near O’Connell Bridge, a Republican sniper with fanatical eyes observes the scene while eating a sandwich and swigging whiskey.
.......When an armored car pulls up fifty yards ahead, he does not shoot at it, realizing that bullets will not pierce heavy armor. An old woman stops to inform the car’s turret gunner of the position of the sniper. When the gunner emerges from his dome, the sniper kills him, then the woman. The armored car speeds away.
.......Gunfire from the opposite roof then wounds the sniper in the arm. He drops his rifle as blood oozes from his wound, although he feels no pain. His arm is numb. He opens a first-aid kit and drips iodine onto the wound. Now there is pain. Then he places cotton on the wound, bandages it, and thinks about his predicament. He can no longer handle his rifle. He has only his revolver to defend himself. If he tries to get off the roof, he will be an easy target for the gunman across from him. A plan occurs to him, and he executes it immediately. Placing his hat on the muzzle of his rifle, he pokes the barrel over the roof parapet. A bullet zings through the hat. The sniper tilts the weapon so that the hat falls onto the street. Then he hangs his left hand limply over the roof. A moment later, he drops the rifle to the street and slumps to the roof, dragging his hand back over the parapet.
.......After crawling to a new position, he peeks out and sees his enemy standing up and looking across, apparently believing he killed the IRA man. The latter brings his revolver into position, holds his breath, and fires. The enemy reels on the roof, drops his rifle to the street, and falls to the pavement.
.......The sight drains the sniper of his “lust for battle,” the narrator says. “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.”
.......In disgust, he throws the smoking revolver to the roof. It discharges, sending a bullet past his head. The shock of the near miss sobers him, steadies his nerves. Then he laughs, swigs whiskey, and gets off the roof via a skylight and a house beneath. On the quiet street, he is curious about the other sniper, who was a very good shot. Who was he? Could he have been a member of his own company before the army split into rival factions. He decides to have a look at the man. When he dashes across, a machine gun opens fire but misses him. He drops to the pavement next to the body as the gunfire ceases. When he turns over the body, he sees the face of his brother.