How does the street between the sniper and his target function as a symbol in the short story, "The Sniper?"

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On a street in downtown Dublin during the Irish Civil War a Republican sniper is posted on a rooftop in Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper ." Opposite him on the other side of the street is a Free State sniper. The street which separates them is a...

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On a street in downtown Dublin during the Irish Civil War a Republican sniper is posted on a rooftop in Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper." Opposite him on the other side of the street is a Free State sniper. The street which separates them is a symbol of the division between the Irish who wanted complete freedom from the British, Republicans, and those that were willing to accept being part of the British Commonwealth, Free Staters. More than that it is symbolic of the disagreement which brewed between people who had once been allied. After all, the Free Staters were once part of the Irish Republican Army and the division in the army often involved a clash of those from the same family.

It is noteworthy that the enemy armored car stops on "the opposite side of the street" from the Republican sniper. The lines between the two foes is symbolically drawn, and when an old woman appears to tell the armored car commander the position of the Republican, both her and the commander are killed by the sniper. Ultimately the sniper kills his opponent on the opposite rooftop. For a brief time he is overcome by regret but soon pulls himself together and decides to cross the street, at great peril, to identify his victim. The crossing of the street is an acknowledgement that these two men were, in reality, brothers, and that the street (or war) should have never divided them.

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