The Sniper

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The Blindness of War

In Liam O’ Flaherty’s short story “The Sniper”, two strangers in an irish civil war, embarrass in a conflict between themselves. The story has a more true and deeper meaning, how war can be so blind and numb to the body. How war can bring two strangers completely opposite from each other, together to find out what war actually is. The short story is truing to send out a true message to the world. That war is truly brother against brother and that it is not necessary in the world. Liam O’ Flaherty is trying to put an image in our heads. Imagine life without fighting or any type of conflict between countries or ourselves.

War starts off when countries or even ourselves desire more and more of a certain thing. When man gets greedy and selfish. Liam O’ Flaherty really shows the true perspective and reality of war and how it can be so blinding to man. The story begins of in a dark, moody battlefield. Sounds of gun fire could be heard in the distance, echoing as it comes across the city. Flaherty’s explanation of the environment around the main character creates a very suspenseful mood. The night skies are pitch black with no stars in sight. The sniper could feel eyes upon him, stalking his every move. A sudden flicker from his lighter toward his cigarette could have been seen from many miles away. The sudden glowing of ambers on the cigarette sent of a bullet whistling by the snipers head. The mood of the story has just began to upraise as the main character has just been introduced to an external and internal conflict.

Characterization is an important element of literature that Flaherty uses to allow readers to identify the sniper in a third person point of view. An obvious piece of characterization is when Flaherty describes the snipers name, a “republican sniper”. Without a name the author can infer that the reader knows the character. Another form of characterization is when Flaherty doesn’t mention that the sniper had a brother....
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