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

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

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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. The Sniper is told in an objective point of view, the reader is presented only with short and factual information, keeping a distance between the reader and the story. Just Lather, That's All on the other hand, is told from a first person point of view, the reader intimately experiences the thoughts and feelings of the barber. The different points of view are used to give the reader an understanding of the distance the protagonists have with their victims. The third person point of view in The Sniper presents factual information, similar to how the sniper only knows what he sees of his targets. There is no compassion for the sniper when he is shot because it is stated in a neutral stand, just as he feels no compassion for his victims because he has not personally known them nor does he know their thoughts and feelings. The first person point of view in Just Lather, That's All gives a sense on empathy for the barber, as his thoughts and reasoning is presented, there is an understanding to why he d...

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... under any immediate danger (Téllez). Even though Captain Torres is very close to the barber, he is in a position of disadvantage because he is disarmed and he is retrained by the sheet that the barber put on him (Téllez). The proximity of the killer to their victim creates circumstances in which forces one to kill or allows one to not kill.

There is an obvious relationship between killing at a distance and killing close up. As seen in The Sniper, killing is easier compared to Just Lather, That's All, which involves murdering up close. With the different proximity of the protagonists to their victims, their decisions to kill is influenced. This is reflective of our modern day society, in which civilized countries can send troops over to undeveloped countries and kill the people without any remorse because they are not directly involved with the acts of murder.

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