The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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How does the author manipulate our feelings and attitudes throughout the story?

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A reader's emotions an be affected by a story's mood. Mood can be influenced in a variety of ways, and one way that author Liam O'Flaherty manipulates our emotions during this particular piece is through setting. Readers get a lot of important setting information that sets an ominous and foreboding mood already in the first paragraph. The first sentence tells readers that night time has just fully set in. Often, setting a story at night is an easy way to build tension. Scary things happen and come out at night. The lack of visibility usually puts most people on edge, and the author uses that tendency to build suspense right from the start. Next, we are told that heavy guns are roaring alongside sporadic machine gun and rifle fire. This is not a peaceful evening where characters are sitting around a camp fire singing jolly camping songs. We are in the middle of a war torn city that is tearing itself apart through a civil war. This harrowing death filled setting location helps readers to begin acquiring some fear and nervousness about the events that are going to play out. Then we are introduced to a Republican sniper who is used to looking at death. This is another piece of evidence that tells us that we should be afraid. O'Flaherty is also not against flat out telling readers that we should be worried. His word choice is often blunt and leaves no doubt that we should feel a particular nervousness about the sniper's actions.

He paused for a moment, considering whether he should risk a smoke. It was dangerous.

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