Why is the sniper the only character that the author describes in great detail?

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Part of what makes this story's surprise ending so compelling is the fact that it never, for one moment, seemed like the sniper could be taking aim at his own brother. The protagonist sniper is so focused on what he is doing, how he is feeling, what he is seeing,...

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Part of what makes this story's surprise ending so compelling is the fact that it never, for one moment, seemed like the sniper could be taking aim at his own brother. The protagonist sniper is so focused on what he is doing, how he is feeling, what he is seeing, that he does not seem to consider the humanity of the other sniper across the street, at least not until that other sniper is dead. He thinks of the sniper across the street as "His enemy" only; the car that pulls up is "an enemy car." When he successfully shoots the sniper across the street, he feels relief first. The narrator says,

His enemy had been hit. He was reeling over the parapet in his death agony. He struggled to keep his feet, but he was slowly falling forward as if in a dream [....]. The body turned over and over in space and hit the ground with a dull thud.

Again, the other sniper is "His enemy," and the other sniper's body is not even "his" but "the body." Such language seems to mimic what a person's mind has to do, the distance it must create, in order to make violence possible. If one needs to prepare oneself to kill another person, one has to dehumanize that person; one cannot consider their humanity or they become a great deal harder to kill. The lack of details regarding anyone aside from the protagonist sniper helps to reinforce this.

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I think one reason for describing only the Republican sniper in great detail is because he is the story's protagonist.  Authors generally spend more time describing their main character because readers will spend the most time with that character.  Greater detail allows readers to feel more familiar with the character.  

Additionally, by not describing the other characters in detail, readers essentially feel about them the same way that the protagonist feels about them.  They are targets.  It doesn't matter what they look like, who they are, or what they feel.  They are enemy combatants, and they need to die.  By not describing them in detail, readers are able to have a cold detachment from them.  That's the attitude that the protagonist has about them.  We feel and sympathize with the sniper because we feel we know him better than the other characters.  

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