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What sort of man was the sniper?

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zoecederlund88 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:06 AM via web

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What sort of man was the sniper?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 4, 2013 at 4:34 AM (Answer #2)

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By the end of the story, the sniper is a complex individual who is filled with regret and a sense of overwhelming pain.  This assessment is evident once the story ends.  At the outset of the story, the sniper is a one dimensional type of man.  He's a young soldier, almost a kid in terms of his mentality.  His zeal and passion towards his mission makes him young, something that is robbed from him in the war and, in particular, the mission.  He is excited about his job, focused and driven to complete it.  The sniper's uniform sense of focus and drive is what animates him to fulfill his mission.

However, when the sniper does carry out his job, he is faced with trying to piece together why he did what he did.  It is at this point where his complex nature becomes evident.  The sniper is unable to fully comprehend what he did as he sees the target as more than "a mission."  He sees the repercussions of his actions, the death of a fellow soldier, at his own hands.  He will realize that while he struggles to make sense of his own actions, such emotions will intensify upon discovering that the enemy sniper was actually his own brother. While there is no discussion as to what he feels upon realizing that he is his brother's killer, it is evident that his mission has made him complex.  As he struggles to make sense of what he has done, he is overcome with remorse, his only response is to engage in "cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody."  This makes him a complex man, an intricate figure, only enhanced by the reality of the ending where he has taken the life of his own brother.  It is here where one can see that the type of man the sniper has become is a complex one.

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