Comparing The Sniper 'And The Man He Killed'

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“War does not determine who is right--only who is left”. This quote was made by Bertrand Russell, a british author, mathematician, and philosopher. In this quote, Russell is saying that it does not matter who dies in battle, but who lives through it. This quote relates to Liam O’Flaherty’s short story “The Sniper” and Thomas Hardy’s poem, “The Man He Killed”. The two literary pieces have many similarities and differences between their plot, irony, and theme.

The two readings, “The Sniper” and “The Man He Killed” have many similarities and differences such as the plot. For example, in Liam O’Flaherty’s short story, the plot is that the sniper was at war. A quote to support this is, “Here and there through the city, machine guns and rifles
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The theme similarity was that war turns citizens into soldiers. To expand, Liam O’Flaherty injects the reference that says, “His face was the face of a student, thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic. They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death” (page 206 The Sniper). To clarify, this quote means that the sniper was once a well mannered and behaved student who had to become a soldier for the sake of everybody’s safety and it turned him to a being that was always looking death. “The Man He Killed” says, “Had he and I but met by some old ancient inn, we should have sat us down to wet right many a nipperkin!” (Thomas Hardy stanza 1). For further explanation, the man who was fighting as infantry was exclaiming that they could have been regular people talking at a bar but instead they both were engaged in war and had to become soldiers. Although both pieces have similarities, they have different themes as well. For example “The Sniper” supports its own theme by saying, “He became bitten by remorse. The sweat stood out in beads on his forehead. Weakened by his wound and the long summer day of fasting and watching on the roof, he revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy” and also “Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother’s face” (Page 208 O’Flaherty). These quotes together say that all together the theme of this story was that war tears families apart because the sniper uncautiously shot and killed his brother. Although, “The Man He Killed” has a different theme and it states, “I shot him dead because--because he was my foe, just so: my foe of course he was; That’s clear enough; although….he thought he’d ‘list, perhaps, off hand like--just as I--” (stanzas 3&4, Hardy.). In other words, the soldier, still remaining nameless, is