With close reference to "The Sniper," bring out the truth of the statement "wars are futile."

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

O'Flaherty's story demonstrates the fundamental futility in war.  Simply from the sniper's point of view, there is little that is accomplished.  The sniper realizes that the cold act of isolated in killing through war does not stop the machinery of war from continuing.  The sniper does not feature anything in terms of triumphant glory.  He does not experience any liberation from his efforts.  He does not emerge as having restored moral order or balance to the world.  His target was his only function.  When he turns to realize that his target was his brother, pure futility emerges.  The modern condition of war is one in which we have become separated from even the act of killing.  The alienated condition in which soldiers fight and kill makes the futility of war even more apparent.  War becomes futile because of the human detachment that is present.  The sniper does not experience the camaraderie in battle and does not experience the commitment to others.  He is on his own and isolated from all else.  His killing is done in isolation, and yet his pain and frustration is individualistic in nature.  Revealing himself to be his brother's murderer helps to enhance the futile condition of war in which the only construction is further pain and estrangement of self from others.  In this, O'Flaherty's story is one in which war is shown to be futile.

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The Sniper

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