On The Sidewalk Bleeding Questions- Evan Hunter

1. In this story Andy is the protagonist. He lives in New York sometime in the 1950’s and was sixteen years old. Andy is wearing a jacket which is purple with the inscription “ROYALS” on the back. That article of clothing was the reason his life came to an end at such a young age. When Andy was stabbed he did not know that he was going to die right away, he had hope for his future with his girlfriend Laura in which he wanted to marry her, move to Staten Island, and have kids. He was a tragic hero because he did everything right but still died. Throughout his struggle to stay alive he found his path crossing three other people while he was still living, the first was an old drunk man whom didn’t help him in the slightest bit. That old man did offer Andy a drink but he never figured out that Andy was dieing and he was watching him bleed out. The next people he came into contact with were a couple whose names are Freddie and Angela were scared of Andy because they didn’t know who or what he was but once they understood the situation he was in they wanted to help until they found out that he was a royal. The last person he saw before he died was an old lady that was digging through the garbage. She either didn’t know he was there or just didn’t want to get involved but either way she did nothing to help Andy. Once he died Laura came looking for him then got the police whom dismissed Andy as just another Royal. The person that stabbed Andy was a Guardian. Royals and Guardians were gang enemies and that one night there was Andy walking with his Royals jacket to get a pack of cigarettes and a Guardian who killed him all because of his purple jacket.

2. There were a few conflicts in this story, the main one being that Andy was stabbed because everything that happened that night happened because of the stabbing. Four main types of conflicts are man vs man, man vs self, man vs society, and man vs environment. A Guardian stabbing Andy was an example of a man vs man conflict. All Andy’s encounters are also conflicts for example the old man was a man vs self and a man vs society in the sense that he is basically talking to himself the whole time and his drinking is probably caused by the awful society we live in. Freddie was also a man vs self and man vs society for different reasons. His reasons are that he knows what the right thing to do is but still doesn’t do it and he wants to impress the Guardians but helping a Royal would be no way to do that. Angela’s conflicts were man vs family and man vs society because she is wanting to go home to her “people” and her and Freddie couldn’t agree what to do what to do about Andy.

3. As a Royal, Andy was proud but hubris.  He was happy to have the jacket.  He was also confused and was going through an existential crisis.  Why would wearing this jacket get him stabbed.  When he needed help, because he was a Royal the couple wouldn’t help him.  Andy grew to hate the jacket.  He wanted to take it off even if it was the last thing he did. Realizing that it was because of the jacket being a Royal jacket is the reason why he got stabbed.  It had nothing to do with who he was an an individual.  Even the policeman said that the first thing that he noticed was that it wasn’t a person who was stabbed but rather a Royal.  It represented a gang which is associated with a person who does wrong.  On the other hand, when Andy was just Andy, nobody noticed him.  Being a Royal gave him the recognition he wanted.  Unfortunately he was recognized in a negative manner.  Being a Royal made people notice him, but not in a good way.

4. The effect Andy’s jacket has on the Guardian who stabbed him was that he felt compelled to stab Andy because he was a Royal.  The old man saw that the jacket wasn’t keeping Andy warm and voiced this opinion.  Freddie was going to help Andy once he saw the trouble Andy was in, but after seeing Andy’s jacket he stopped, not wanting the Guardians to disapprove of him.  Angela didn’t think that it mattered that the jacket had any meaning and that helping someone who is hurt is what mattered.  Unfortunately Angela went along with Freddie’s decision to not help Andy.  The police officer that even after he was told what the boy’s name was, he saw the jacket and dismissed him as just a Royal.  Wearing a Royal’s jacket was the reason Andy was murdered.  He was labeled as a Royal rather than being treated as an individual person.

5. The old man, thinking that Andy was drunk, didn’t realize that he was hurt.  Being drunk himself, he wasn’t any any condition to be of any help.  Freddie wanted to help but didn’t know what to do.  But then after seeing Andy’s jacket, Freddie felt an obligation to the Guardians.  His apology to Andy by saying sorry proves that he knew he was doing wrong by leaving him to die, but left him anyway.  Angela had an irrational fear towards Andy but wanted to help.  Although she did want to leave to go home to “her people”, she knew that the right thing to do was to help a person who is hurt.  Unfortunately her fear overruled and see went along with what Freddie did, which was to just leave Andy to die.  The Old Lady didn’t even see Andy to be able to help him.  Laura came looking for Andy and once she found him she called the police.  The police saw Andy’s jacket and exclaimed that he was “a Royal”, writing this down in his notepad, even after Laura told him his name is Andy.  Other people probably thought he was just drunk or homeless or anything but hurt.  The didn’t want to get involved.  Or maybe some of them didn’t see him.  They all had their reasons for not helping Andy.

6. Once Andy heard the couple he thought about Laura and in his head said to her that he loved her and that he thought he was dying.  Other thoughts crossed his mind.  He wondering what the meaning of it all was.  He regretted that the real Andy had not lived yet.  He was to have a life with Laura.  They were to get married and have a house and children.  If he wasn’t wearing that Royal jacket he wouldn’t have had the title as a Royal and he wouldn’t be lying there.  It wasn’t Andy who was stabbed, it was a person wearing a Royal jacket.

7. Right before he died Andy, wanting to be just “Andy”, not a Royal, he took off his jacket.  No jacket would have meant no stabbing.  He didn’t want to be known as just another Royal.  He didn’t want anyone to see he as a Royal and that being a Royal is all he did with his life.  Being a Royal had no more meaning to him.  Andy wanted to take off the jacket he was now ashamed to wear, even if it was the last thing he ever did.

8. At first Andy was at the party then all he wanted to do was go buy some cigarettes but instead he died. He then got stabbed by a Guardian. After that he got visited my all the people that didn’t help him. Once Andy realized he was going to die and he accepted it, it finally happened and he died. screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-16-15-am

9. Andy didn’t get his one dying wish of not being seen as just another Royal. It is ironic that the one thing Andy took pride in most is what killed him. Laura explained to the officer that his name was Andy but once the officer saw that purple jacket, a Royal was all he saw him as.  I think the author was trying to get the message across that and it was a tragic hero because he did all the right things but in the end still died. This story also got the moral across that the world is a messed up place where you don’t always get what you need.

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