In Liam O'Flaherty's tense short story "The Sniper," the protagonist is an Irish Republican sniper who is in constant danger throughout the narrative from an enemy sniper. As soon as he lights a cigarette, a bullet whistles past him, and later, he is hit in the arm and feels as though it has been cut off.
When he finally manages to kill his opposite number and sees the man fall into the street, therefore, the sniper might be expected to feel jubilation and relief. Ultimately, he feels remorseful and comes close to delirium. He is revolted by the sight of the dead man below and curses himself for his part in the war.
After a drink of whiskey, he gains the courage to go down to the street and look at the face of the man he has just killed, thinking there will be little danger now. As it turns out, he is wrong about this, and someone fires a machine gun at him as he runs toward the dead man. Finally he looks into the man's face and discovers that he has killed his own brother. The story ends with this shocking twist, leaving the reader to reflect on the ways in which war dehumanizes people and tears families apart.