The Firing Squad Analysis

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According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the veteran suicide rate was running at 22 suicides a day in 2012. This number of suicides exceeded the number of soldiers actually killed in battle. Many are surprised by this statistic, and many have looked further into the reasons of why this is. The main characters in both “The Sniper” and “The Firing Squad” reveal some of these potential feelings about war from a soldier’s perspective. Captain Adam from “The Firing Squad” and the sniper from “The Sniper” have similar views on war. Both harm other people to benefit themselves in one way or another, and demonstrate physical and emotional reactions to a situation that could have an adverse affect on both them and their family. Both characters…show more content…
Interesting how an experienced sniper would take this risk. When he lights the cigarette, he immediately faces conflict when another sniper on a building across from him shoots at him. After some an intense buildup, our sniper kills the other soldier when the opportunity strikes. He tricks the other sniper, and saves his own life by shooting him. It is only then that the sniper reveals a softer side. Realizing what he has done and after watching his dead opponent fall to the ground from the roof of the building, he is “bitten by remorse”; “The lust of battle died in him”. It is clear that the sniper is weaker than initially described, and the reader becomes sympathetic even though he has just killed another man. Some textual evidence of the sniper’s opinion of war is stated, “His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody.” The sniper has reached a breaking point, chosen by the author to communicate to the reader that even the most toughened human can fall apart in seconds. Taking another life is very hard on some soldiers, and many resort to drinking or other ways to attempt to take these instances off their minds, “Taking the whiskey flask from his pocket, he emptied it a drought. He felt
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