The Sniper Questions and Answers
by Liam O’Flaherty

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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, 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...

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