Reading Response #1
War ruins everything. In the short story "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, it showed me how war affects people. The main character, a republican sniper, was in a life of death situation and was willing to do anything to survive. I believe that O'Flaherty wrote this book to show how war affects people. He told us this message through the eyes of the republican sniper. During the war, he was wiling to do anything to survive, and this later resulted in a bad thing for him.
While the republican sniper was on the roof, he was willing to do anything to survive. Like anyone else, he didn't want to die if he was going to survive, he knew he would have to kill the free stater. So he came up with a plan to put his helmet on top of his rifle and made it look like that he was peeking out of cover, when the free stater saw the helmet he fired his rifle. When he found out that he had shot the helmet he peered out of cover trying to see if he was really dead. At that time the republican sniper took out his revolver and shot the free stater, who fell of the top of the building. At first, the republican sniper was happy he killed the free stater, but when he went to look as who he shot, he was shocked.
After reading this short story, it told me why could happen during a civil war. I would have never thought that the free stater was his own brother. After reading the last paragraph, I felt bad for the republican sniper who had to kill his brother. If the republican sniper knew that it was his brother he was trying to kill, something else probably would have happened. If I ended up going to war and shot my brother, I could never forgive myself. This showed me that you never know who you are fighting during war, in war your expected to kill someone with out hesitation, but that's hard because killing someone is a hard thing to do and it's something that will stick with you for the rest of your life. To me, this short story was really interesting to read and sent a cross a good messages. It had some sad and exciting parts like the part when the republican sniper shot the free stater with his revolver ,but the saddest part in the short story was when he found out the free stater he killed was his own brother.