In "The Sniper" why are the characters not named?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty, the author's main aim is to create two effects, firstly suspense and secondly, shock! To name or identify the main characters would dissipate the denoument and ending. instead he chooses to give a slightly cool, detached objective mood to the story - as if it is a disinterested bystander narrating rather than two protagonists taking part,allied in blood. This gives the piece a curious sense of anonymity which, for anyone who knows Dublin Ireland, fits in so well with the idea of a summer dusk on O'Connell Street, so beautiful with the Wicklow mountains in the distance and the swifts flying - and yet so deadly on that particular night. It must have felt pretty surreal, and the days after The Rising (revolt) certainly were for the people who turned up to throng the streets as usual for a normal day's work in the morning. I think the author's tactics work excellently in capturing the surreal atmosphere of the consequent proceedings in the following mornings.