On the Sidewalk Bleeding
On The Sidewalk Bleeding is a short story by Evan Hunter. This short story is about a young man called Andy who is part of a gang. To others a gang member is what Andy is known as, except from his girlfriend Laura. Andy gets into bother with a rival gang moments after leaving his home. This experience and situation Andy’s been left in has made him think about his true identity and his main focus’ in life. Symbolism in this short story is very effective to make it more interesting, personal identity is a main theme.
Andy’s jacket clearly meant a lot to him as it had his name on his gang jacket which filled him with pride of being a Royal. “The boy’s name was Andy and the name was delicately scripted in the black thread on the front of the jacket. The name scripted over Andy’s heart on the jacket shows the importance of Andy’s role in the gang and how proud it makes him. It shows that he is truly devoted and loyal to the Royals. I think that Andy has completely forgotten his true identity and how others around him see him.
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I also don’t think he realizes how much trouble he has dragged himself into. Andy’s girlfriend Laura is the only person to know the true emotional and personal side of him. What Andy doesn’t realize is how the other people around him see him, they see him as a thug and a danger to the streets which makes them have no sympathy towards Andy and gangs. The particular setting Evan Hunter has used ties in perfect on the main characters situation.
It sound’s horrid and miserable as Andy is sprawled along the sidewalk helpless and unaware of how serious the situation he is currently in. “He lay on the sidewalk with the March rain drilling his jacket and drilling his body and washing away the blood that poured from his open wound. ” Helpless and unable to move whilst the night storm shower you sounds terrifying and gives a feeling of sympathy towards Andy and his situation. Only a few minutes ago he had a life, a girlfriend, friends and a street status.
Now he is just left wounded and isolated. He wasn’t stabbed because of who he was; he was stabbed because of what he represented. This is why I feel sympathetic towards Andy. The irony is very strong in this short story as the author makes us have sympathy for Andy as he has many encounters with people and opportunities for help that completely backfires on him. “I got a good mind to call a cop. ” “Andy nodded. Yes, he tried to say. Yes, call a cop. Please call one. The drunk character is unaware that Andy is in a great deal of pain and assumes that he is also intoxicated due to Andy stuck on the ground like a squashed chewing gum so he then threatens to call the police but then hesitates and insists he is helping Andy by not getting him into trouble when really Andy desperately wants help as he is coming to terms with the fact he is very wounded. The drunk then stumbles away leaving Andy feeling helpless and think about the situation he is in. This makes me feel sympathetic towards Andy due to his failed chance of getting help.
Being in the Royals made Andy feel superior and as if he had power. Through the story we witness Andy go through his opinion on being a gang member and the lifestyle he lives. “Even in his pain, there had been some sort of pride in knowing he was a Royal. Now there was no pride at all. ” Andy thinks long and hard about what life would be like without the gang involved and how he would have a life with his girlfriend, Laura. Knowing his time left was very rare and with very little energy left Andy realized the situation he is in is because of being a member of the Royals.
If he didn’t wear the jacket that stated he was a gang member then Andy could already be with his girlfriend Laura, with full health and a life to live. With the last bit of strength in his body; Andy took off his jacket and flung it to the side, hoping he wouldn’t be identified as just a gang member when he was dead. The short story On The Sidewalk Bleeding by Evan Hunter is a heartbreaking story about a young man going through a tough moment in his life. It was strange that situation can happen anytime in my world. I thought it was very interesting seeing Andy’s opinion change on something that once meant life or death to him.