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.