Comparing Characters From "Lather And Nothing Else" Hernando Tellez & "The Sniper" Liam O'flaherty Grade Nine Language Arts Essay

1177 words - 5 pages

Comparing and Contrasting Characters 
“The Sniper” -Liam O’Flaherty  
“Lather and Nothing Else”- Hernando Tellez 
In every story that has ever been written, no matter the differences in plot, mood, setting, or 
theme, there is one constant: characters. It is impossible to have a story without at least a single 
character, for as Ray Bradbury so wonderfully said, “Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow 
after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” A character is a medium 
with which an author can paint a descriptive picture, utilizing the character’s sensory inputs and 
observations to vividly describe a scene. Over time, so many stories have been written that there is 
now an almost infinite amount of unique characters that live out their lives between the pages of 
books. Interesting similarities and differences can be found between these characters if one chooses 
to look for them, especially if the characters are from entirely different stories. “The Sniper” by Liam 
O’Flaherty and “Lather and Nothing Else” by Hernando Tellez are two examples of such stories, and 
in comparing the characters from each tale we may find some interesting similarities and 
differences.   
With this in mind, let us begin our comparison. The characters of the sniper and the barber, 
although they are from two different stories, share certain affinities, one of which is that both of 
these men live in a time of conflict. The Republican sniper fought in an Irish civil war and the 
barber participated in a clash between two regimes. Another similarity that these two particular 
characters share is a certain degree of respect for their foes. The sniper acknowledged that the 
enemy soldier he killed was a good shot, and wondered if he had perhaps known the man before the 
country was torn apart by civil war. The barber recognized that Captain Torres was an executioner 
and respected that he had a responsibility to his job, even if that job was murder- “Each one to his 
job.” Lastly, the barber and the sniper are analogous in that they are both commendable at what they 
had been called to do.The Republican was a clever sniper who succeeded in using a revolver to hit 
an enemy fifty feet away in sub-optimum lighting conditions, despite the bullet wound in his right 
arm; in other words, he was indeed a marvelous sniper. The barber ensured that not a single drop of 
blood seeped from any pore on Torres’ face or neck, even as his hands were shaking with fear.   
Yet, as both of these characters are unique, it is only natural that there are just as many--or 
possibly many more--dissimilarities between these two individuals as there are likenesses. Firstly, 
the sniper seems to have a tendency to take risks: by lighting a cigarette, whose faint but distinct 
flash of light alerted enemies to his position, he took the risk and made himself a much easier target. 
In contrast, the barber was very cautious when he was shaving Torres,...

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