In Liam O’Flaherty’s “The Sniper,” O’Flaherty portrayed the ‘Sniper’ character as somebody who can have many different outcomes or profiles depending on how people see the character. We can kind of get an idea of how the Sniper looks, and his psychological profile. The way O’Flaherty describes the Sniper’s appearance, actions, and his thoughts, can give us subtle hints on his profile. The Sniper is described physically by having the face “of a student. When the readers read the “face of a student,” we immediately think of a young, youth-like, and a not aged with years face. O’Flaherty also described the Sniper having a gaunt face that shows self-discipline, which is something we would more likely see in a more adult individual, or somebody with more experience in life. O’Flaherty is counter balancing the appearance descriptions by stating that the Sniper had “the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death.” We might think that the Sniper is somebody who is used to being in wars all the time, and sees death a lot, but at first described as a young, student. Later is described as a more war veteran type of person.
Second of all, the Snipers’ actions also change the thought of what readers think of him. In the story, he decides to spark up a cigarette, which he didn’t think it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. He decides to do it anyway, making his personality more rebellious. On the other hand, after he kills his target when on the roof, we feel as if he needs to know who he killed. Because he had a very excellent kill, he goes to investigate who he killed, showing that he actually cares deep down and is not a cold hearted killer we think he is. Very counter balanced personalities between the rebellious nature and the more caring person inside. Lastly, the way O’Flaherty communicates his thoughts on how the Sniper thinks really changes the thought of his personality profile.
When the Sniper is planning to escape the rooftop and get away from the scene, he chooses to try and confuse the other enemy sniper into thinking that he was dead. This thinking communicates the Sniper as being a mischievous, malicious, and artful thinking person. So any reader would think that the Sniper is a very complicated character, with a complex personality. With his appearance, actions, and thoughts always being indifferent from each other we can plainly see that Liam O’Flaherty’s character was really meant to conflict making it challenging to decipher the Sniper and his personality profile.