The Sniper And War Is Kind

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Although the only thing war is capable of doing is determining who is left instead of who is right; it changes people to the worst, which the texts “The Sniper” and “War is Kind” are all about. The short story “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty is about a man who has the position of a sniper in the war. He risks taking a cigarette, and is spotted by an enemy sniper. After the shooting they did, the Republican sniper finally manages to kill the other sniper and instantly regrets it. The story concludes with him staring at the lifeless body of his own brother. “War is Kind” on the other hand, is a poem by Stephen Crane about how people shouldn’t get so upset over war because everyone dies in the end. All lost lives will not come back and there is …show more content…
From the title itself the reader can tell that there is something questionable about the title itself, but after the speaker says “do not weep, maiden, for war is kind” (Crane 1), the verbal irony is what may catch the reader’s attention. The only thing war is capable of doing is taking away lives. That is not, under any circumstances, kind. It’s cruel and merciless. This verbal irony might be compassion towards those whose loved ones have been slaughtered and it can be simple mockery of the dystopian endless massacre. It may also be a way of propaganda. Also, inanimate objects can’t truly be kind, in other words what Crane also did with the verbal irony is to give it some personification in order to achieve the wanted result. Not only does that sentence not inform the reader of the horrors of war, but it says the exact opposite of what war is actually about. However, in this case “war is kind” because war represents death, so the speaker suggests that war is simply the way out of that ghastly society for those who have already fallen. The speaker also uses the word “weep” instead of the word “cry”. Weeping has a more emotional and personal attachment to something that one is weeping over. It is more emotional and formal word than crying. It may also invoke sympathy within an individual, so the speaker proves to be a kind soldier inculcated with …show more content…
The short story conveys the negativity of war just when “a machine gun tore up the ground around [the sniper] with a hail of bullets […]. Then [he] turned over the dead body and looked into his brother’s face” (4). Unlike in Crane’s more positive poem, where the speaker asks his listeners the same thing, which is for them to “not weep” because “war is kind” (Crane 25-26). Both writers use similar techniques in their pieces of literature, however, not for the same purposes. Whereas O’Flaherty uses personification in his story to add a dramatic effect to “The Sniper,” to empathize war’s happenings and what it does to its participants, Crane uses it in order to stress the verbal irony. The personification “a machine gun tore up the ground” is a really powerful and thrilling one because it shows that not guns kill people, and people themselves do it to each other. Crane’s speaker, on the other hand, merely tries to convince everyone that war is not a horrible as it seems to be by saying that it is “kind.” Both the speaker and the reader understand that in reality it isn’t like that, but it leaves a sort of confusion as to the reason why he said so. The different types of irony in both texts has the same effect. After finding out that the sniper murdered his brother in cold blood, a state of confusion strikes because not only is the reader not given a continuation, but also the fact

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