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In the story, ."The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, the lesson can also be described as theme. As the story takes place in 1922 during the Irish civil war, war and its effects on people are a huge part of the meaning of the story. If you look at the beginning of the story, the sniper is too excited to eat, ready for his assignment as a sniper to kill enemy soldiers. As the story develops, the sniper goes through many emotions from the emotional killing of the tank driver and the old woman, to the cold necessity of killing the enemy sniper so that he can survive. Once he has killed the other sniper, he feels disgust that war can do this to him to be a cold killer. When he climbs down from the rooftop feeling good about surviving, he turns over the other sniper to discover it is his brother. Imagine his despair at killing his own brother. Emotionally, he has now come full circle. O'Flaherty is telling us the readers that war does terrible things to people. We only need to look at how many soldiers from modern warfare are conflicted and dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the need to fit back into civilian society to understand that the consequences of war can destroy a person or tear apart a society.
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