An Important Idea in 'on the Side Walk Bleeding' and 'the Sniper'

Topics: Short story, English-language films, Thought Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: August 27, 2013
An important idea in “On the Sidewalk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter was that of the importance of having your own identity. Andy, the central character of this short story taught me a valuable lesson as to the significance of this. He also made me aware of the fact that we need to think things through thoroughly rather than making impulsive decisions. Andy was a sixteen year old boy who ‘wore a purple jacket’; the lettering on the back of the jacket read ‘The Royals,’ a name which he was proud to own. But not until he was stabbed did he realize the reality of taking on the identity of what you are not. Underneath the rough, tough appearance of the jacket Andy was a normal boy, who wanted to live a normal life and achieve many things…but now he was dying. Andy had made the fatal mistake of wearing the jacket of a gang. He had thought that this would give him power and prestige, and did not realise until too late that his identity needed to come from himself, that he had to work hard, and be himself rather than simply follow a crowd in order to form it. This taught me that we can take on someone else’s identity the easy way, but it is not so easy to lose, even when it is no longer wanted or needed. A valuable lesson I learnt from Andy was the importance of having your own identity and the necessity of thinking things through thoroughly before making decisions. When Andy became part of the gang he did not know that he was about to die, he did not know that it would rob him of his life and destroy his dreams, he did not know that a time would come when he would hate the title and its meaning, he did not know that he would die A Royal when he just wanted to be Andy. From this I learned that Andy did not recognise the importance of having his own identity, until he understood that he would be judged by the group he belonged to, rather than who he was himself. He was ‘A Royal’ and proud of it. However, the time did come when he resented the title, he wanted to get rid of...
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