Style of language
The short story “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty is casual and informal, using contractions and common words and phrases.
The sentences are often short and clipped, mostly focusing on the actions. For instance: “The rifle clattered to the roof. The sniper thought the noise would wake the dead. He stopped to pick the rifle up. He couldn’t lift it. His forearm was dead. ‘Christ’, he muttered, ‘I’m hit.’ ” This expresses a sense of urgency about the story’s progress, making the reader engrossed in the narrative.
There is no dialogue in the story, only one instance of the sniper talking to himself in reaction to getting injured: “ ‘Christ’, he muttered. ‘I’m hit.’ ” The rest of the story follows the sniper’s internal monologue. His thought process allows t...