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Plot Summary For "Bananas"

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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 cap on the muzzle of his rifle, he pokes the barrel over the roof parapet. A bullet zings through the cap. The sniper tilts the weapon so that the cap 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



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