With special reference to the ending of the story, discuss the pathos of war in "The Sniper."

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vmoriarity eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pathos of war, or the quality of "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty  that makes people feel sadness, is the situational irony the end of this story, when the main character, a sniper in the Irish Republican army, shoot his own brother to death.  The horror of killing his own brother underscores the lives wasted in the name of war.  First the brother shot by the sniper represents needless sacrifices made to "win" a war.  Furthermore, the sniper himself is a sacrificial casualty who must now face the fact that his own brother has died at his own hands.  Surely, this fact will prevent the sniper from living a normal, well-adjusted life in the future.  The futility of war is clearly depicted by the killing of the enemy who just happened to be the sniper's brother.  Who wouldn't be saddened by such and ironic outcome.  This ending clearly depicts the pathos of war.