Theme - Clarenbach's Corner

“The Sniper”
Theme: Respond to this question in the form of a well developed paragraph.
Identify the theme. Remember, the theme must be written as
a complete sentence, not just a big idea like “love,” but
“Love drives people to acts of great courage and sacrifice.”
Explain how the conflicts and the character development
shown in the story lead the reader to the stated theme.
Support with textual evidence including page numbers.
The theme of The Sniper is that war turns humans into
objects. In the story, a Republican sniper is in an
apartment building and is trying to snipe out his enemies.
He was only focused on his targets and had no reasoning
to back up his decisions. “His face was the face of a
student, thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam
of the fanatic (pg. 212).” When the old lady told the turret
man where the sniper’s position was, he only thinks of her
as an enemy informer instead of a person. “She was
pointing to the roof where the sniper lay. An informer
(pg. 213).” He then kills both of them and he gets shot by
an enemy sniper. The R sniper mends his wounds and
then he thinks of a way to trick the enemy sniper into
thinking that he had killed the R sniper. When his ruse
had succeeded, the R sniper kills the enemy with his
revolver. After the adrenaline has worn off, he then gets
curious about the identity of the enemy sniper. “His
nerves steadied. The cloud of fear scattered from his mind
and he laughed. […] He wondered did he know him (pg.
215).” When he returns, he finds out that the person was
his brother. “Then the sniper turned over the dead body
and looked into his brother’s face (pg. 215).” This shows
that the R sniper was only thinking about killing his
enemy instead of thinking who he might have been. War
turns humans into automatic killing robots that only think
of taking out their target without any emotion.
– restated
The theme of “The Sniper” is you can convince
yourself that anyone is an enemy. And are they truly
your enemy? You can tell this is the theme because
the main character shows that he will do anything to
kill his enemy. On page 212. it sates “they were deep
and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to
looking at death.” So, the character is very
determined to kill his enemy. Again on page 214, “he
must kill that enemy and he could not use a rifle.”
The author emphasizes the main character’s
determination and desire to kill this enemy. It didn’t
matter who it was, the main character had his mind
set and he wasn’t thinking of backing down.
However, shortly after the sniper shoots his enemy,
his adrenaline and fierce mode quickly collapsed as
he found himself feeling guilty and ashamed, on page
214, “the lust of battle died in him. He became bitten
by remorse.” This statement proves that what he had
set in his mind before didn’t matter because once he
had accomplished what he had set out to do was still
not satisfying.
In the story The Sniper the theme seems to be that
subordinating your needs to those around you or your
community is not always a good thing. For example,
because the sniper was “fanatic” about his patriotism
to his Republican cause, he shot his brother (pg. 215).
And because he was in such a mindset of kill -or-bekilled he harshly and painfully dressed his wound. If
he had realized that his crazy; patriotism was
unhealthy, he might not have shot his brother.
War is very destructive and can tear families apart.
As it shows in the story that because of the war, the
two brothers ended up on opposite armies and one
ends up killing the other brother. It’s also very
destructive because many people die just for trying to
help their cause like the old lady. Finally, it’s
destructive because it can cause distrust against
nations and make it harder for other countries to
The theme of “The Sniper” is that war reduces
humans into targets. When the sniper discovers the
enemy sniper all he can think about is surviving and
taking down his target (O’Flaherty 213). The young
sniper doesn’t realize what he’s doing until he
accomplishes his goal and kills his enemy (O’Flaherty
214). When he kills the man, he feels extreme guilt,
leading him to curse the world and the war and goes
into shock (O’Flaherty 214). The sniper decided he
wanted to know who he killed and found out it was
his own brother he murdered (O’Flaherty 215). This
adds to the theme that war reduces humans into
targets because the sniper unknowingly killed his
brother in the rage or war.

similar documents