What is the role of the Sniper in "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty?

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "the Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, the story depicts the Civil War that took place in Ireland, the sniper is on a rooftop, prepared to shoot the enemy.  The sniper's job is to shoot from a hidden position with great accuracy.  He is not the type of soldier that confronts the enemy in full frontal battle.  The sniper hides, remaining concealed while he shoots his enemy.

In the story, the sniper who is the narrator is a Republican, he is fighting against the enemy, the Free Staters, they are locked in a bloody conflict.  As he waits for a target, he realizes that there is an enemy sniper taking aim at him.  He must now kill his enemy or be killed. 

Hit in the arm, and wounded in such a way that he is unable to lift and shoot with his rifle, the sniper prepares a trick for his enemy.  He puts his cap on top of his rifle and tosses it off the roof, hoping that his enemy, who is at a distance, will believe that he was hit by fire and fell off the roof dead.  This ruse will give the sniper a chance to take aim at his enemy, using his revolver. 

The sniper is successful in killing his enemy, he climbs down from the roof, turns over the dead body of his enemy and looks into the face of his brother.