Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper," published in 1923, records a violent episode between two snipers during the Irish Civil War in which Irish nationalists fought each other over conflicting views of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which gave most of southern Ireland some independence from Great Britain but ultimately maintained Britain's sovereignty, splitting the Irish Republican Army into two violently opposed factions. The two snipers in "The Sniper" represent this factional dispute.
O'Flaherty's prose style is spare and direct, characterized by Anglo-Saxon diction, short sentences, and limited use of figurative language. His style is reminiscent of Hemingway's plain style, and the arc of the story is very similar to two American Civil War stories by Ambrose Bierce, "Coup-de Grace" and "A Horseman in the Sky," but O'Flaherty does employ some figurative language, sparingly, which is the more effective because it is used very selectively.
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