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The Value Of Life In 'The Sniper'

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In “The Sniper”, a realistic fiction story written by Liam O’Flaherty, there is a war waging in Dublin, Ireland. The sniper must kill his enemies, but it will be a challenge. Republicans against Free Staters, only one side can win. As the two snipers shoot at each other from the rooftops of buildings, they have to use their military skills and think outside of the box to vanquish their enemy. By using irony and 3rd person perspective , Liam O’Flaherty depicts the lesson throughout the story that there is value to life. The value of life is a central issue that is shown throughout the story and impacts all of the characters. Throughout most of the story, the sniper does not value the lives of other people. This is shown during the scene when the sniper shoots his enemy. As his enemy is hit, he starts to rejoice and is excited about his accomplishment. O’Flaherty writes, “Then when the smoke cleared, he peered across and uttered a cry of joy. His enemy has been hit.” (3). This quote is showing how the sniper has no personal value or connection to his enemy, and so it did not matter if his enemy was killed. He has no internal instinct to have value for someone else’s life, therefore not giving him a sad emotion when he killed his enemy. Another example of this was after the sniper shot his enemy, he watched his enemy fall off of the building and hit the…show more content…
Their unknown identities are not a thought that crosses the mind as they fight to the death from atop the rooftops of buildings in Dublin, Ireland. The author’s use of irony and 3rd person perspective produces the lesson that there is always value to life. The death of a brother has more meaning than the death of an enemy, but when both enemy and brother are the same person, these meanings must come to middle ground. This leaves the reader to wonder - was the death of the sniper’s enemy a real
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