Justice is to do what is right, not what other people tell you to do. In the short story, The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty, the story conveys a message of justice. For example, the Free State Sniper shot the Republican Sniper on the hand, which shows that the Free State Sniper believed he had the right to hurt someone else. The Free State Sniper shot the Republican Sniper because he was trying to defeat him, this demonstrates justice. Instead of doing what is right he listened to what he had been ordered to do, defend himself, and fight against the Republicans. In addition, the Republican tricked the Free State Sniper in to thinking he was dead, so the Republican Sniper could shoot and kill the Free State Sniper. He was tricking the Free State Sniper into thinking he was dead, so he would not be killed and this demonstrates justice. Furthermore, and most important, the Republican Sniper shot the Free State Sniper. “Then when the smoke cleared, he peered across and uttered a cry of joy. His enemy had been hit. He was reeling over the parapet in his death agony.” The Republican Sniper believed he was justified to kill the Free State Sniper. The Free State Sniper happened to be the Republican Sniper’s own brother. Most likely, if the sniper had known it was his brother, he would not have killed his brother. The message conveyed in The Sniper deals with justice, and this is proved by the examples in the short story. After the Republican Sniper found out that the Free State Sniper was his brother, he basically lost his lust for war. He soon figured out war is a cruel and brutal place, because of his experience. If the Sniper knew it was his brother he would not have killed him, so what makes it right to kill anyone else? The Republican Sniper probably did not want to kill the Free State Sniper, but he did what others told him to do. All of the events in the short story are unjust actions because justice is to do what is right, and both of the snipers did the wrong thing.
December 13, 2010