The Sniper by Liam O´Flaherty and Just Lather, That´s All by Hernando Tellez

970 Words 4 Pages
Murder is a reprobate action that is an inevitable part of war. It forces humans into immoral acts, which can manifest in the forms such as shooting or close combat. The life of a soldier is ultimately decided from the killer, whether or not he follows through with his actions. In the short stories The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty and Just Lather, That's All by Hernando Téllez, the killer must decide the fate of their victims under circumstantial constraints. The two story explore the difference between killing at a close proximity compared to killing at a distance, and how they affect the killer's final decision.

The perspective of the two stories allow the reader to perceive the sense of proximity the protagonist has with their victim.
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The different points of view give an understanding of the relationship the protagonists are to their victims. The methods of killing at certain distances can determine whether or not the killer is able to follow through with murder. In The Sniper, the sniper's enemy is on “opposite side of the street, fifty years ahead” (O'Flaherty). He is armed with rifle and a gun and is his main weaponry in killing. However, Just Lather, That's All takes place in a barber shop where the barber is close enough Captain Torres to “slit his throat while shaving him”(Téllez). His only means of killing Captain Torres is to cut him with his razor and let him die of exsanguination. The two contrasting methods of killing cause a physiological effect that influence the killer’s choice to execute. The sniper is killing his enemy from a distance and only knows the general characteristics on his targets. He does not have to feel his victims die in his hands nor does he have to deal with the corpses. However, the barber must slit Captain Torres' throat and watch “out of his neck a gush of blood [...] onto the sheet, on the chair, on [his] hands” (Téllez). He would have to physically manoeuver the body out of his shop and dispose of it. The direct contact with the victim attenuates the urge to kill, whereas the indirect killing with a gun does not affect the killer. The mental nearness of the killer to the victim also affects to killer's final decision. The
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