The sniper on the rooftop is watching in dead silence, “They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is use to looking at death” (O’Flaherty 1). While the sniper is on the rooftop he starts to become reckless, and gets himself shot and almost killed. Yet, he manages to outwit his opponents and escape with his life, however, at the cost of others. In the short story, “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty, the sniper has became so used to killing opponents, he changes, demonstrating everyone changes in war.For starters, war mentally changes people. For example, after killing his enemy, the sniper does the following: “Taking the whiskey flask from his pocket, he emptied it a drought” (O’Flaherty 3). The sniper needs to drink after killing the man, after realizing what he did. This shows he needs to drink to deal with the guilt of killing people in war, which has changed him. “He must kill that enemy…”(O’Flaherty 2). The sniper has to kill the enemy because war made him into his current mindset of kill or be killed. With all the people the sniper has killed, it is messing with the sniper’s head and corrupting him.Kretz 2To add on, war changes people physically. “There was no pain–just a dead end sensation, as if the arm had just been cut off” (O’Flaherty 2). The sniper was shot and can’t feel his arm. The sniper may have a disabled arm forever because the bullet could have ripped the tendon, or might have to get it amputated because he can’t feel his arm.  As a result of his amputation, the sniper must deal with the tangible reminder of war and death for the rest of his life. War affects your side of war just as much as the other side. “His enemy had been hit. He was reeling over the parapet in his death agony” (O’Flaherty 2). The enemy sniper was shot and and had to deal with the pain along with falling off his own rooftop to his death before finally dying. People can become physically different in war. Lastly, war rips families apart. “Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother’s face” (O’Flaherty 3). The sniper kills his brother so he could survive. He kills his brother and thus he must live with the guilt of killing his brother and explain what happened to his parents.  “Perhaps he had been in his own company before the split in the army”(O’Flaherty 3).  The army divided over conflicts and supported the different sides.  This split also ripped apart families such as the brothers who decided to fight for different views. Families are not only destroyed by death in war, side family members decide to stand by in the war.In conclusion, war makes people mentally and physically different, and ruins family relationships. No matter what happens in war, everyone is affected, whether they are fighting or observing. War will do things to humans that change us for better or worse. Sometimes, war brings out heroism and leadership, and other times it shows guilt and heartbreak.


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