Short Story Esay – on the Side Walk Bleeding

A short story in which a material object becomes important is “On the Side walk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter. With reference to the text I will identify the object and explain it’s significance. In the opening paragraph the author gives a detailed description of a jacket which is worn by the victim of an attack. “The boy’s name was Andy, the name was delicately scripted in black thread on the front of the jacket, just over the heart. On the back of the jacket it has the slogan ‘THE ROYALS’” this is the gang he is associated with. The Royals’ are rivals to The Guardians. Being a Royal lead to Andy’s death. When he goes out for a pack of cigarettes he is violently assaulted by a member of The Guardians. The gang member said, with volume, “That’s for you Royal! ”. This tone insinuates that he had a vendetta with the gang as he emphasises the word ‘Royal’. If Andy wasn’t wearing the Royal’s jacket he wouldn’t have been attacked. As the story progresses there are two young love birds strolling down the pavement.
They duck into the ally where Andy lay after he’d been attacked. They didn’t realise that Andy was only a few feet away. Freddie, one of the couple, saw Andy and knelt down beside him, that was when he had seen the jacket and said “He’s a Royal. ” The couple are afraid to help him in case The Guardians attack them. This further reveals the significance of the jacket; a material object which caused him to be targeted and is stopping people from helping him.
When Laura, Andy’s girlfriend, goes searching for him she find him in the ally, dead. He was found 58 minutes after he had been stabbed but before he bleed to death he mustered up all his strength to try and take his dreaded jacket off in the hope that someone would attempt to help him. The jacket meant fear to any one and everyone if he had managed to take it off before, he would have been saved but he didn’t do it earlier. ‘A Royal, huh? were the first words the police officer said when he had found the jacket only a foot away from his cold body. Laura tried to tell him that his name was ‘Andy’ but the officer only saw a Royal and nothing else. The jacket was a label and his identity was lost whilst he wore it. The significance of a material object in the text is important because it symbolises his dedication to the gang. This not only resulted in him being targeted; it made people afraid to help him and ultimately because of the jacket, he was left to die. Jamie Blair

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