What are the character traits of the sniper?

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Philip Arrington eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The short story "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty tells of a young Republican sniper stationed on a rooftop near O'Connell Bridge in Dublin, Ireland. He eats a sandwich, drinks some whiskey, and then lights a cigarette. However, the flash of the match draws fire from another sniper.

The protagonist shoots the driver of an armored car and a woman informer, and then the other sniper shoots him in the arm. He dresses the bullet wound as best he can. When he is done, he executes a plan to trick the other sniper. He drops his rifle to the street and lets his left arm hang as if he is lifeless. His adversary shows himself, and the sniper shoots him with a revolver so that he falls off the roof and dies. When he goes down to the street and turns the body over, he realizes that he has just killed his brother.

There are numerous clues in this story as to the character traits of the sniper. In appearance he is like a student, but his expression is that of a fanatic. He is obviously dedicated to his...

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