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On the Sidewalk Bleeding

Jean De La Fontaine once said “Beware- so long as you live of judging men by their outward appearance,” and this idea is reinforced continually in the short story, “on the sidewalk bleeding” written by Evan hunter. The important idea was judgment and how we should not judge a book by it’s cover. I think this idea is worth learning about because too often in society we judge people without knowing them.

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The author wants to communicate that you should not prejudge somebody for their looks and consider what is inside of them first. In the short story “On the side walk bleeding” the author has employed many techniques such as symbolism to help convey the idea ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. The main symbol in this short story was the purple jacket with ‘The Royals” imprinted on the back which symbolized Andy’s loss of identity. Wearing the jacket meant that he was judged not as Andy but as a gang member in “The Royals”.

He was not seen as his own person but judged based on those he associated with. This is shown when the couple noticed Andy lying helplessly on the ground, Freddie was prepared to help Andy but after he realized that he was a gang member, due to his fear and preconceived ideas, his willingness to aid Andy instantly perished, as he did not “want to get mixed up in this”. I found this interesting because the couple based all their opinions on Andy’s jacket and not for who he really was.

Freddie and Angela’s response when discovering Andy as “A Royal” also interested me because no matter what group he is from or what type of clothing he wears, if somebody in front you is suffering from pain, it is a wise idea to call for help as it may result in their death if they fail to do so. I could not understand how these people could be so inhumane and cold because of their personal feelings towards a particular group. This showed me how the jacket symbolizes judgment and illustrates how society judge people without knowing them at all.

I think this idea is worth learning about because we should not base our opinion on what people wear and whom they associate with. This should not be what defines them; it should be what is inside of them that counts. Another technique the author has used to portray the idea “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is though the use of characters. When the policeman discovered who Andy was at the scene his attitude changed, “A royal huh? ” Regardless of what had happened to Andy and despite Laura’s insistence that “his name is Andy” the first thing he did was open up a blank page on his black pad and wrote down “A royal”.

This clearly supports the idea that the police officer was judging Andy based on his jacket and therefore felt no pity or emotion towards him. He did not regard him as an individual and viewed him as just “A Royal”- a gang member who cause trouble and who is harmful to society. I found this extremely interesting and I think it is worth learning about because it shows that often people like the policeman in the short story can give up on seeking justice for a crime simply based on the judgment they make. This makes me think of all the crimes that may have gone unsolved simply because people have made incorrect judgments.

The key message, which has been communicated in “On the sidewalk bleeding” was that, it is not enough to form an opinion on someone based on the way they look or who they mix with. What is inside and their personality is what really matters. It is important that person gets to know a person before making any prejudgments. Andy may have seemed like a typical gang member who trashes the town with bottles of alcohol and blood stains but in reality he is nothing more than an average sixteen year old boy who wants to marry the girl he loves and have a lot of kids and move out of the neighborhood.

These people need to realize that Andy is also a human being and it is immoral to judge somebody for what they wear and who they hang out with. It interests me because as I read the story I realized that I often stereotype people for their outer appearances. If I saw somebody walking towards me with leather jacket on with images of skulls and tattoos all over their body, I would instantly react and stereotype them.

However after reading Andy’s story due to stereotyping and prejudgments, I have become conscious of the fact that you should never judge the value of a person before you know about them well. It is their personality and what is inside that matters the most. Everyone should respect a person for who they truly are and not discriminate them for their outward appearances. It may turn out that the people you thought was () might turn out to be one of the nicest people you have ever encountered.