Identity explored through “On the sidewalk bleeding” In Hunter’s “On the sidewalk bleeding” the author reveals that we must be careful with the way we portray ourselves because labels can define us. Your true identity may be concealed under the labels that other people give you.
This theme is demonstrated through the protagonist, Andy, and through the plot. He is sixteen years old, and is involved in a gang called ‘The Royals’. A member from an opposing gang stabbed Andy. He was stabbed only because he belonged to the gang, and it had nothing to do with Andy as an individual. “If he had not been wearing the jacket, he wouldn’t have been stabbed. The knife had not been plunged in hatred of Andy. The knife hated only the purple jacket.…show more content… This shows that people may mistake you for who you truly are based on the way you portray yourself. In the beginning, Andy was proud of his identity but once he was stabbed he suddenly regrets what he had become a part of. There had been meaning to the title. Now that he had been stabbed, he wonders about the meaning. Since no one is willing to help him, he struggles to take off the jacket and hopes that someone will call for help. He wants people to know his identity and to see him as a person, not just a gang member. If Andy chose not to wear the Royal jacket, he would have been alive. Similarly, the plot also reinforces the theme that labels may define us and that people will judge us. “He’s a royal. ‘We help him and the Guardians’ll be down our necks.’” (Hunter 4). Although Andy is dying, Freddie and Angela are not willing to help him since he is a Royal. Freddie and Angel are more concerned about their lives rather than saving the life of another. They are too worried that the Guardians will retaliate against them. This short story reveals how people treat others based on what they see of them. If Andy did not have that jacket with the word “ROYALS” written on the back, he would have been alive. Not only does