Essay about On the Sidewalk Bleeding by Evan Hunter

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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On the Sidewalk Bleeding Critical Essay Marianne Lavery The story “On the sidewalk bleeding” by Evan Hunter deals with the issue of identity through the central character Andy, a young gang member who struggles with his identity as his death draws near. A young boy called Andy who left a nightclub to go and get cigarettes. He started walking through the alley when suddenly he got stabbed. As he got stabbed he heard a voice saying “That’s for you Royal! Andy had always been proud to be a Royal because the Royals and the guardians were two of the biggest and he was a Royal. Now as he lay dying on the sidewalk with the rain surrounding him, he thought of being a Royal but now all he wanted to be was Andy. It is evident that Andy had felt very proud to be a member of the Royals: “The Royals and the Guardians, two of the biggest. He was a Royal there had been meaning to the title”. I think Andy was too involved in the Royals to understand that it was only a gang name and his life was ending at sixteen because of it.

Andy decided to join the gang in the first place because it made him powerful, it made him feel like he was somebody. The extent of his pride was shown when it said: “Even in his pain, there had been some sort of pride in knowing he was a Royal! ” This tells the reader that he didn’t regret ever becoming a Royal. A young person like Andy would join a gang so that they would feel safe from other gangs. Additionally, if they were in a gang they would feel important to be a member of that gang as it would give them a sense of belonging.

After Andy was stabbed and he realized that he was going to die, he began to resent his identity as a Royal and just wanted to be known as Andy. “I’m Andy; he screamed wordlessly, I’m Andy”. As Andy lay there dying, alone in the dark he wanted to shout out “Hey, I’m alive! Hey look at me! I’m alive! Don’t you know I’m alive? Don’t you know I exist? ” Andy was so frustrated and confused. “He felt very weak and tired”. As every second went by, Andy got increasingly weaker.

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Andy’s identity as a Royal not only got him stabbed it also prevented people from helping him as they walked past. An example of this was when Angela and Freddie came along and they saw him on the pavement hurt. They were going to hep him but as soon as they realised that he was a Royal, they quickly changed their minds. They said “if we get a cop, the Guardians will find out who. ” I thought this was very cowardly and selfish of them to leave him there, dying just because they were scared.

Andy knew he was at deaths door but he didn’t want them to find him and say “oh he’s a Royal! ” So with great difficulty and determination, he rolled over onto his back. He felt the pain tearing at his stomach when he moved. He lay struggling with the shiny, wet jacket. Pain ripped fire across his body whenever he moved. He squirmed and fought and twisted until one arm was free and then the other. Taking this purple jacket off with the lettering on the back that read “THE ROYALS” was very important to Andy because this jacket had ended his life at only sixteen years old.

The final part of this story was very sad because Andy died. Andy’s girlfriend found him first, but when he did not answer her, she ran until she found a cop. The first thing the cop said when he looked at Andy’s dead body was, “A Royal, huh? ” So Andy didn’t even get his final wish, which was to be remembered as just Andy. By reading this story it has made me think about my own identity and I have realized how important it is to keep out of trouble. As I most definitely do not want to be in the same situation as Andy was.

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Essay about On the Sidewalk Bleeding by Evan Hunter. (2018, Jan 04). Retrieved from

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