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In The Sniper Liam O Flaherty suggest the horror of war not only by presenting its physical dangers but also by showing its psychological effects. The story takes place in Dublin around the beleaguered Four Courts in the middle of the city where gunfire of heavy guns, machine guns, and rifles break the silence around the sniper because of a civil war that is especially dangerous because the enemy looked similar to yourself. The sniper is on the roof in a vulnerable situation because there is no cover, no place to hide. Besides that it s June around the twilight hour when it is fading into night and when the smallest amount of light attracted attention to the enemy.

The bullets fired also make the danger of the sniper s location clear. When he lights his cigarette, almost immediately a bullet is shot against the parapet of the roof. Just as he raised his himself cautiously over the railing of the roof another bullet whizzed by him, just missing his head. Soon he sees a tank commander and a women informer pointing out his location on the roof, he first takes out the tank commander, followed by the old lady that is giving the information. Suddenly from the opposite side there is a flutter of bullets that come from the opposite side of the street.

The psychological effects on the sniper suggest the horror of war. The sniper s feeling of excitement shows a lack of concern for other people. The sniper s fanaticism is known when it mentioned that he had not eaten because he was so excited to be there. Although when the armored car pulled up, the very sound of the engine and the color of the gray monster stuck fear in his heart. When the sniper was aiming at the other sniper his hand trembled with eagerness, proving his lack of concern for others. When he finally shot, he uttered a shout of joy releasing his lust for battle .

Finally the horror of the war is made clear because the sniper can only think of other people as the enemy. Before he lights his cigarette he wonders if the enemy is watching. The armored car, the driver, as well as the informer are all labeled as the enemy . Together he mentioned the word enemy over six times. For example when he thinks about lighting his cigarette he refers the people watching as the enemies , another when shot his enemy across the street. But soon he realizes that the man that he had successfully shot down was then later identified as his very own brother. Thus proving to himself that everyone was not the enemy .


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