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How has point of view been used in the story 'The Sniper'?

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John Leigh How has point of view been used in the story 'The Sniper'? Point of view has been used to great strength in the story of the sniper. From the moment the story begins it is used to draw us deep in. The introduction systematically sets the scene for us. The first bit of information we are given about the sniper is an external representation of him, 'his face was the face of a student - thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of a fanatic.' From this external point of view, we can learn a great deal about him, 'the face of a student' suggests he is young and in some ways, perhaps innocent to the art of warfare. He is still learning. However, this is quickly contrasted when we are told he has the 'eyes of a man who is used to looking at death'. ...read more.


'The sniper raised his rifle and fired. The head fell heavily on the turret wall. The woman darted toward the side street. The sniper fired again. The woman whirled round and fell with a shriek into the gutter'. This description is more like a log of events, no emotion, no real detail, just facts. We are given so little detail because the sniper himself would not be able to see much more of the woman than a rough figure from his position on the rooftops. This gives a very machine like quality to the sniper; he has no time to surrender to emotion, just doing what is needed of him. It is almost half way through the story before we get even the first spoken words from the sniper. 'Christ, he muttered, "I'm hit". This draws us much deeper into the character and his situation. ...read more.


'The sniper turned over the dead body and looked into his brother's face'. It's a stunning, final blow, which echoes in your mind. You cannot help but feel incredibly sorry for the sniper. His day has been nothing but death and destruction, all he has left is his life, bleeding and injured. The underlying effect of the story is to give an example of what war is really like. The battle of man versus man, brother against brother. His implication that when a war rages you are essentially and simply destroying lives. This is debatable as an important event and the reason that war exists is as a system of expending human produce and lives. However in this story the author is certainly trying to give war a negative value. The final sentence of the sniper turning the body over and seeing his brother's face is very important. It is perhaps not his own brother's face he sees but his brother as in a brother of his race, the human race. ...read more.

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