The Sniper

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The Street Symbol Icon
Most of the action of “The Sniper” takes place along a street where the Republican sniper and the enemy sniper face each other on roofs on opposite sides of the street. This location is thematically important because it represents the divisions between the two enemies as well as the divisions between people and even family that the war creates. Moreover, the street, once surely a place of commerce or perhaps habitation, has turned in the ugliness of war into a killing field and battleground. What was once familiar, safe, and full of life, in war becomes distorted, dangerous, and full of death. But when the sniper crosses the street at the end of the story to identify his victim, he creates a kind of bridge between the two divided sides at the same time as he discovers the true intimate relationship—and the therefore deep tragedy—that lies at the heart of his confrontation with his enemy.
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The Street Symbol Timeline in The Sniper

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Street appears in The Sniper. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Sniper
Divisions Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
...lone farms.” Near O’Connel Bridge a Republican sniper lies on a rooftop along a deserted street. He has “the face of a student” while his eyes have “the cold gleam of... (full context)
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Chance and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Humanity and Remorse Theme Icon
...strikes nearby. He realizes that an enemy sniper is on a roof just across the street, under cover. (full context)
Divisions Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Chance and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Humanity and Remorse Theme Icon
An enemy armored car comes down the street and the sniper wishes to fire at it, but he knows his gun will not... (full context)
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Pain and Perseverance Theme Icon
Humanity and Remorse Theme Icon
...and tries to withstand the terrible burning pain of it over the wound. In the street, the two corpses are immobile. The sniper realizes he needs a plan to escape, but... (full context)
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Chance and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Pain and Perseverance Theme Icon
Humanity and Remorse Theme Icon
...hand hang over as if he is dead, eventually letting the rifle fall onto the street as he pretends to sink back onto the roof. The enemy sniper, tricked into thinking... (full context)
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Pain and Perseverance Theme Icon
...the enemy sniper’s “body turned over and over in space” and “lay still” on the street below. (full context)
Divisions Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Humanity and Remorse Theme Icon
...does not believe there is much danger, since everything is quiet. When he reaches the street, though, he feels “a sudden curiosity as to the identity of the enemy sniper whom... (full context)
Divisions Theme Icon
War, Violence, and Enmity Theme Icon
Chance and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Pain and Perseverance Theme Icon
Taking another risk, the sniper crosses the street. There is suddenly heavy firing near him, and he runs across the street with machine... (full context)