The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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What two quotes demonstrate the sniper's level of experience in "The Sniper"?

In "The Sniper," the author demonstrates the sniper's level of experience by describing the look in his eyes. O'Flaherty writes, "They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death." O'Flaherty also demonstrates the sniper's level of experience by writing that the sniper "must kill that enemy and he could not use his rifle. He had only a revolver to do it. Then he thought of a plan."

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In Liam O'Flaherty's celebrated short story "The Sniper," there are several quotes that illustrate the sniper's level of experience. In the second paragraph of the story, the Republican sniper is described as a young man who resembles a student. O'Flaherty continues to describe the appearance of the sniper's eyes:
They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death.
The description of the sniper's eyes being "used to looking at death" indicates that he is an experienced soldier and has participated in the conflict for an extended period of time and witnessed the unimaginable horrors of war. The reader learns that the Republican sniper is a battle-hardened youth with a significant amount of experience. As the story progresses, O'Flaherty continues to reveal the sniper's level of experience by describing his clever decisions and mental processes. When an armored car crosses the bridge, the sniper quickly analyzes the situation:
It was an enemy car. He [the sniper] wanted to fire, but he knew it was useless. His bullets would never pierce the steel that covered the gray monster.
The Republican sniper's knowledge of the armored vehicle and ability to think clearly during an intense situation suggests that he is an experienced soldier who knows when to take action. After the sniper is shot in the forearm, O'Flaherty once again reveals the sniper's level of experience:
The sniper lay still for a long time nursing his wounded arm and planning escape. Morning must not find him wounded on the roof. The enemy on the opposite roof covered his escape. He must kill that enemy and he could not use his rifle. He had only a revolver to do it. Then he thought of a plan.
The Republican sniper's ability to recognize the gravity of his situation and develop a plan while nursing a serious injury reveals his level of experience. Only an experienced, skilled sniper would be able to process everything simultaneously and come up with a clever plan to survive the dangerous situation.

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