The protagonist is a 16 year old boy named Andy. Andy is a tragic hero that was in existential crisis. He has a girlfriend named Laura. He had wanted marry Laura and move to a new area in the Bronx or Staten Island. We can see the changes he made from wanting to be a Royal and having hubris about it and then is able to realize that it really is meaningless as he is on the verge of death. Hubris is excessive pride for something about yourself. Andy is also in existential crisis. He doesn’t know whether anything has or had any importance in his life. Existential crisis is when someone questions what is important and what is the meaning of life.
There are four types of conflicts: man verses man (external), man verses nature (external), man verses self (internal), and man verses society (external). In the story, we see examples of man verses man conflicts and man verses self conflicts. The first conflict is a man verses man conflict. As Andy was walking to the candy store to get a pack of cigarettes, he was ambushed by a group of Guardians. The Royals and the Guardians are rival groups that have most likely had conflicts before. The drunk man, also a man verses man conflict, thought that Andy was drunk too. He couldn’t help Andy because he was drunk and even offered Andy a drink. Freddie and Angela had a man verses man conflict with Andy. Freddie knew what he should do but he didn’t do it. He was being a bystander which is just as bad as stabbing Andy. Throughout the story, Andy was in a conflict with himself. He was wondering if everything that had meaning before, had no meaning now. He was currently in existential crisis. He did not know whether anything was important.
The name Royals represents a group of people that Andy belongs to. Andy being a Royal is a hubris for Andy. The name Andy represents the boy. Andy represents everything he has accomplished and all of his family and friends. The name Royal is meaningless to Andy now.
The name Royal caused Freddie not to call the cops because he was afraid of the Guardians. Even before that, the Guardians stabbed him because he was wearing the jacket that said Royals on the back. The Guardians didn’t hate Andy, they hated the jacket and the name Royals. The only person to use the name Andy was his girlfriend because she loved him. The police officer even used the name Royal like it was just a name.
The bystanders did not help Andy because they were afraid that the Police and Guardians would find out they helped and come after them. They cannot be a bystander and let someone die. Eva Olson said that we can’t be a bystander because a bystander is no worse then the bully.
After Freddie and Angela kissed, he thought about Laura and that he might never see her again because he started to suspect that he was dying.
He took off the jacket. He didn’t want to die wearing the absurd object that caused him to die. Andy did not want to die as a Royal, but as Andy. It shows how he changed from his hubris of being a Royal, to wanting to get rid of a useless name and jacket and die just being Andy.
The way the Officer said ” A Royal” could mean that the two groups have killed may people before and that the officer is dealing with many crimes like this.