On the Sidewalk Bleeding.

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‘On the Sidewalk Bleeding’ by Evan Hunter deals with the important human issue of death, Hunter portrays the main character’s (Andy)journey to cope with his soon-to-be death through techniques such as; themes, plot, word choice and repetition. The base of the plot evolves around a boy called Andy who is stabbed by a rival gang - he is left alone to die as he watches a selection of personalities pass him by, and remains unaided.

The character himself is important in discussion of how the issue of death is coped within the story. Andy is just 16-years-old, and yet he belongs to a gang, ‘The Royals’. This allows Andy the chance to view himself as quite the hard man, however, when Andy realises death is near, he sheds the ‘Royal’ in him and becomes a much more emotional Andy. This would appear to be his chosen way of coping. Andy wants to die as Andy, "If he ever did another thing he would take off the jacket." - He also seems to realise how much he will miss his girlfriend Laura, we can assume this is unusual, "He suddenly hungered for Laura’s mouth. It was then that he wondered if he would ever kiss Laura again." This shows that aspects of Andy’s character are important to him in coping with his death.

The plot is equally important as the character however as it shows us that he is forced to deal with death, he has 3 chances, and all 3 seem to slip away. The first comes in the form of a drunk man who seems to not even notice Andy’s predicament. "What’s the matter Buddy?" - this falls in with the theme of the world passing him by, not really noticing Andy. He is disappointed again when the man leaves, still oblivious to what is going on, "S’long Buddy." Not long after, Andy watches a second opportunity die when a young couple find him - "He’s a Royal" - but are too scared of what the Guardians (rival gang) will do if they help a Royal that they walk away, "If we get a cop, the Guardians’ll find out who." - "I’m sorry." The final chance for Andy arrives with an...
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