The Sniper By Liam O'Flaherty: A War Portrays Human Beings As Objects

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The story “The sniper” by Liam o'Flaherty tells us that the main character's face was like the face of a student, thin and ascetic. Which means he was a young looking man and is self-disciplined. In the story the sniper knew that if he smoked due to the lighting of the match, the other enemies would be able to see it but he decided to take the risk. Which means he is bold. 

At the beginning of the story the eyes of the republican sniper were described to resemble that of someone used to looking at death; this means that he is no longer affected by pain and death. “The sniper” starts off with the paragraph which says Dublin lays enveloped in darkness and later on the second paragraph says on a rooftop near O’Connell Bridge, a Republican sniper lays watching. This gives reference to the Irish civil war that happened in 1922 between the republicans and free states. 

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The sniper convinces his enemy he is dead by placing his cap at the muzzle of his rifle, he then pushes the rifle over the parapet until the cap was visible from the opposite side of the street. When the cap is shot the sniper pretends to be dead and slants his rifle so his cap falls off then he lets his hands drop down and later on drops the rifle. This later convinces the enemy he is dead. The republican sniper experiences a lot of pain on his right arm, the arm he got shot on. The climax of the story occurs when the sniper killed his enemy and suddenly started feeling remorse. This is because he wanted to kill his enemy so badly before but when he finally did he felt regret. This tells us after all that the sniper is not really used to looking at death as he was said to do so in the second paragraph.

The protagonist is not given a name because the author is using him to represent any individual during war. The writer is trying to tell us that anyone could be in his shoes during war. He had not eaten since morning because he is in war so he has to hide. The only time he might feel safe to eat is when he knows the enemies can not be sighted and he is in a safe place.

The first mood was determination to kill his enemy. He wanted to kill his enemy so he could come out from his hiding and go report to his commander. The second mood was remorse, he cursed himself for the death of his enemy. 

We see such contrasts because the writer is trying to tell us that even though war portrays human beings as people to just shoot and fight, among those human beings they are ones who curse themselves or feel regret due to the war no matter how tough they have to be.

The author was saying that war can make your family members your enemies, since war portrays human beings as objects to be shot at , it can be a loved one you shoot because he is on your enemies side. The sniper did not know his brother was the enemy, it could have been the brother that shot him because they are enemies during the war                   

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