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Fate can be seen in “The Sniper” after the main character descends down to the street. Liam O'Flaherty writes, “When the sniper reached the laneway on the street level, he felt a sudden curiosity as to the identity of the enemy sniper whom he had killed.” It is the feeling of curiosity that overcomes the rational side of the sniper causing him to cross the street under gun fire.
O’Flaherty continues with, “Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face.” The sniper was fated to not only kill his brother but to know that he killed his brother.
In "The Sniper", the sniper himself is destined to kill his brother. Whether his literal brother, or his 'brother' in the broader sense of realising that we are all one human family, is up for debate.
The moment of fate occurs when his gun fires, and the bullet shoots past his head.
He looked at the smoking revolver in his hand, and with an oath he hurled it to the roof at his feet. The revolver went off with a concussion and the bullet whizzed past the sniper's head.
When this happens, it causes him to question who the victim was. In a moment, of almost a realisation that he could have been the one struck, his curiosity is piqued and he has to know who the man was he shot. This bullet from his own gun makes him consider how things could have progressed so differently than they did.
When he turns the body over to discover his brother, as a reader, we are forced to face the reality of what has happened, without the insight into the snipers mind, as the story is over. It is in this moment that we are forced to deal with our own thoughts about how we would feel in the same situation, making it a very powerful piece of writing.
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