What are the main messages in "The Sniper"?

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One main message in "The Sniper" is to showcase the futility and destructive nature of war and how it changes people.

The story follows two brothers who stand on opposing sides of the Irish Civil War; as so often happens in war, the two forget who they truly...

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One main message in "The Sniper" is to showcase the futility and destructive nature of war and how it changes people.

The story follows two brothers who stand on opposing sides of the Irish Civil War; as so often happens in war, the two forget who they truly are and what they truly believe in and simply get "used to looking at death." They care little about human life—their goal is to kill the enemy, to survive, and to hopefully win the war.

One of the brothers, a Republican sniper, finally hits his target—a sniper on the opposing rooftop—killing him. A sudden curiosity comes over the Republican sniper, who wishes to know the identity of the man whom he's just killed. He leaves his rooftop and runs across the street below, risking being shot at to get a glimpse of the corpse. The sniper looks into the man's face and realizes that he has just killed his own brother.

Though the story ends here, O'Flaherty demonstrates how destructive war is, with brother killing brother, emphasizing all the precious life that is wasted.

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