The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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What is the sniper's perspective on the situation? Is he cautious, give the circumstances? Question on Point of View

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In the story, "The Sniper," the point of view is third person, limited.

The main character in the story is a sniper. He is on a rooftop where he can see a portion of the city laid out in front of him.

The narrator tells us he has a fanatical look in his eye—he is extremely keyed up; he has provisions to last for the evening.

The sniper is not cautious at first. Without thinking too clearly, he thoughtlessly lights a cigarette, and in doing so, gives away his position on the roof, is spotted by another sniper on another roof, and is shot at.

Then an armored tank drives into the Four Courts area he is "guarding." He kills the men driving an tank, and a traitorous old woman who had tried to tell the tank's driver where he was on the roof.  However, when he raises himself up to shoot the woman, the other sniper spots him, shoots and wounds him.

Though the injury is not life-threatening, it will be nearly impossible now for him to shoot his rifle.  He dresses his wound and goes about trying to find a way to pick off his enemy, who remains hidden.

By now, the sniper is extremely cautious. He carefully makes his way around his rooftop, stooping down and staying out of sight. To lure his enemy into exposing himself, he places his hat on the top of his rifle and raises it up. The other sniper takes the bait and shoots.

The first sniper pretends to be hit, dropping his rifle and allowing his arm to hang over the side of the parapet—making it seem as if he is dead.  However, in an extremely calculating way, as the "dead" sniper has seen the flash of the other man's rifle, he now knows where he is hidden and he waits patiently for the other sniper to expose himself now that he believes his adversary (the first sniper) is dead.

When the enemy sniper rises up to take stock of his victory, the first sniper, using his revolver, shoots the other man with his revolver—an excellent shot—and his enemy, dropping his weapon, somersaults over the ledge onto the ground below.  He is dead.

Immediately after the deed is done, the first sniper becomes enraged: angry with the war and a need for killing, and careless once again, he throws the revolver on the ground—it goes off, and nearly takes the sniper's head with it. The sniper takes a moment to calm himself, and then climbs down to the street to see who his "worthy adversary" was.

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