Have you ever been forced to do something that could possibly affect you for the rest of your life? Well, in this short story a man was forced into a war that ended up having physical and mental affects on him. In the short story “The Sniper”, author Liam O’Flaherty suggests the horror of war on a personal level by presenting not only its physical dangers, but its psychological effects as well.
One method the author uses to convey circumstances associated with the war on a personal level is by providing vivid explanations of the physical dangers. In the story it says, “The flash might be seen in the darkness as there were enemies watching.” The physical danger in this instance is death, because there are enemies watching your every movement, waiting for a chance to detect your location and kill you. It also says, “There was a flash and the bullet whizzed over his head.” The sniper could have died right then and there, but he was lucky because the bullet missed him. Again, this shows that death is a very real danger of the war. Another quote is, “A machine gun tore up the ground around him with a hail of bullets, but he escaped.” This portrays the danger of injury by graphically explaining to the reader how the bullets were extremely close to him which made them hard to avoid. By avoiding them, the sniper was lucky to be alive. The physical dangers in the war are considered to be highly great, and by explaining them to the reader in a manner that causes personal emotion, the author intends for the reader to better understand those dangers.
Another way the author conveys the circumstances of war on a personal level is by communicating the psychological effects. He says, “…But his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic.” This shows how the sniper is excited about killing people and possibly dying in the process. That is not normal, so there is some sort of psychological damage. The author also states, “He began to gibber to