The Theme of Dispute in The Sniper and My Oedipus Complex Narrative

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 724 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Words: 724|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Conflict is of huge significance to every story, whether it be a scuffle among teammates or a full-scale war. The stories chosen to be discussed in this essay are The Sniper and My Oedipus Complex. These stories have been chosen due to them being similar in the sense that conflict in both stories pulled the families of the personas apart. In The Sniper, the underlying theme is of war and in My Oedipus Complex, the theme is of jealousy and the indirect effects of war on a family.

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In The Sniper, the protagonist is in the middle of a civil war between the Republicans and Free States in Dublin. The whole story revolves around the snipers’ attempts to successfully kill his opposition, the enemy sniper. Throughout the story he is shown to be very professional and experienced in his line of work, persevering even when he was injured and crafting plans with his quick thinking. He was professional to the point where he did not hesitate to kill an old woman who “was pointing to the roof where the sniper lay”. An informer”. This highlights a nature of war, how it harms everybody. Not only soldiers, but also civilians. This in turn highlights an aspect of conflict, that conflict affects everyone and that conflict hardens people, in this case the sniper.

The professionalism showcased throughout the story is contrasted with the ending, where the sniper felt a rare weakness of vulnerability, “bitten by remorse”. He shows much more of his emotion as compared to before he successfully took out the enemy sniper, “cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody”. This highlights the adverse impacts of conflict on people, how it stirred a professional to losing his composure, going into a slightly insane state. All of these emotions proved to be foreshadowing the fact that something was amiss, which was affirmed when the sniper “turned over the dead body and looked into his brother’s face”, realizing he had unknowingly killed one of his own family. This showcases the most important aspect of conflict in the story, it shows how conflict can tear apart families and even turn brother against brother, proving that it is indeed an essential element in this story.

Aspects of conflict in The Sniper will be compared to that in My Oedipus Complex. In this story, the father of the child, Larry, returns home from war. This causes the mother to divide her attention between Larry and her husband, which Larry is not at all used to. He had always been the only recipient of his mother’s attention, now that her attention was veered towards his father, he felt pangs of jealousy. This jealousy drove him to disrupt the relationship between his parents and fight for attention, something children generally do not go about doing. The root of this conflict between the father and child is a larger conflict which is the war the father was partaking in. If the father was arounf for his family, Larry would not feel the way he does, he would not think “that either (his) father or (him) would have to leave the house”. This highlights that conflict is unending, a larger conflict causes a chain reaction for other conflicts to form, like how the war caused this unusual tension between father and son.

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Larry goes out of his way to gain his mother’s love and attention throughout the story. He treated his father as an enemy, and this caused his father to have similar feelings for him, thinking he was an annoyance. Larry even irritated him to the point where he struck him in rage. This in turn caused “a series of skirmishes against one another. he trying to steal (his) time with Mother and (he) his”. This again exemplifies the fact that one conflict leads to others. All in all, it shows that conflict can be with anyone, even father and son. It highlights how war shatters family bonds, just as it did in The Sniper. In conclusion, conflict is an essential element in all stories because it is the origin and nature of the problem in every story. Conflict is a cause for the story to be told and each story is closely revolved around that conflict.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Theme of Dispute in the Sniper and My Oedipus Complex Narrative. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 14, 2024, from
“The Theme of Dispute in the Sniper and My Oedipus Complex Narrative.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
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