Self identity is the way that you see yourself and your self image such as ability, appearance and personality. Self identity is very important because it affects the way you feel about yourself and how you behave in challenging situations. An example of this is the short story On the Sidewalk Bleeding in which the central theme of the story is the importance of self identity.
Andy is the protagonist who started out as being proud to be in a gang, but later realizes that he does not want to have labels that define who he is but wants to decide who he wants to be himself in order to develop his own individuality. The author effectively conveys his message and teaches the readers a lesson showing the importance of self identity which is developed through the setting, characters and the protagonist’s point of view. The author effectively conveys his message and develops the lesson showing the importance of self identity through the setting. After losing all his chances of getting rescued, Andy begins to feel worse as he begins to lose hope:”He felt weak and very tired. He felt alone, and wet and feverish and chilled. He knew he was going to die now.”(Hunter) Here, Andy suddenly realizes that he is not going to be rescued and is about to die. The reason he feels this way now is because of the setting; being in the cold, dark alley makes him feel very hopeless and the time of the day also adds to the hopelessness.
This example is important because it shows the harsh surroundings Andy was in that causes him to regret wearing the royal jacket after realizing the importance of being Andy instead of ‘a royal’. Furthermore, this quote successfully relates to the overall topic of the paragraph because after all those people leaving who could have helped him, his surroundings make him aware that no one is going to help him. It is then when he thinks that if he was not identified as a royal for wearing that jacket, he would not have been stabbed. Additionally, after realizing that he is dying, Andy wants to take off his jacket so the world will remember him as Andy:”He lay struggling with the shiny wet jacket. His arms were heavy. Pain ripped fire across his body whenever he moved. But he squirmed and fought and twisted until one arm was free and then the other. He rolled away from the jacket and lay quite still, breathing heavily, listening to the sound of his breathing and the sounds of the rain and thinking: Rain is sweet, I’m Andy.
” Here, Andy decides that he wants to be identified as Andy, realizing the importance of having his own identity after experiencing the fact that the others could only see him as a royal. This example is important because this shows that although the rain makes him feel heavy, cold and lonely, he is still determined and desperately wants to take off his jacket. Also, he thinks the rain is sweet showing that although he is dying, he is happy that he finally takes the burden off him. The removal of the jacket symbolizes Andy’s desire to get rid of the label, as well as the prejudice that comes with it. Next, the setting is significant to the story and the development of its theme because the setting works against Andy, making his situation worse.
For example, the rain hitting the trash can causes the old woman to be unable to find Andy, it also makes Andy’s physical condition a lot more uncomfortable. All of this is necessary for Andy to learn about the importance of self identity. Additionally, if Andy had been in a different setting like a sunny day in the middle of a street, he would most likely have gotten helped. Not only is the central theme of the novel developed through the setting, it is also developed through the characters. The author effectively conveys his message and develops the lesson showing the importance of self identity through the characters in the story.
When the couple comes across Andy, they have to decide to help Andy or not because he is a royal:”Behind him, Angela said, ‘Freddie, let’s get out of here! Please!’ Freddie stood up. He looked at Andy again, and then mumbled, ‘I’m sorry.’ He took Angela’s arm and together they ran towards the neon splash at the other end of the alley.” In this case, fear and not wanting to get involved lead to the couple not helping Andy.
Instead of asking about what happened, they make immediate judgement that Andy can only mean danger and trouble after seeing his jacket. This example successfully relates to the topic of the paragraph because this is one of the many parts of the story where Andy faces prejudice from other characters for having the royal jacket, the prejudices he faces was what lead to him realizing the importance of having his own identity. Furthermore, this example is significant because it relates to one of the conflicts in the story which is individual vs himself, where Freddie fights with himself when deciding to save Andy or not. Ultimately, the couple decides not to help Andy which is a turning point in the story where his fate of dying is decided. When Andy is found dead in the alley, the police is still prejudiced against him:”The cop picked up the jacket and turned it over in his hands.”‘A Royal, huh?’ he said.
She looked at the cop and, very quietly, she said, ‘His name is Andy.’ The cop slung the jacket over his arm. He took out his black pad, and he flipped it open to a blank page. ‘A Royal, ‘ he said. Then he began writing.” Despite all of Andy’s struggling and efforts to take off the royal jacket, the police still identifies him as a royal, even after Laura telling him his name.
Next, his reaction shows that he does not see a problem in Andy’s death because he is a royal. This example successfully relates to the topic of the paragraph because this is also one of the many parts in the story where Andy faces prejudice from other characters for having the royal jacket which is what lead to him realizing the importance of self identity; However, it is already too late because he is already on the verge of dying showing that a society’s prejudiced and preconceived opinion cannot be easily removed. In addition, this example is significant because it relates to the literary device of irony. It is ironic because Andy’s last wish is to be recognized as Andy, but instead, the police does exactly what Andy was afraid that people might do. Both of the examples are significant because the identity of Andy was determined based on the clothing he was wearing, teaching the readers to not judge someone based on their clothing or appearance.
Additionally, if he was wearing other clothing, Andy’s identity would be a completely different person although he is still the same on the inside. Not only is the central theme of the novel developed through the characters, it is also developed through Andy’s point of view.The author effectively conveys his message and teaches the readers a lesson showing the importance of self identity through Andy’s point of view. After realizing that he is dying through the setting, he thinks to himself:”I don’t want to die, he thought. I haven’t lived yet. It seemed very important to him that he take off the purple jacket. He was very close to dying, and when they found him, he did not want them to say, ‘Oh, it’s a Royal.
‘” This shows an insight into Andy’s thought process and emotions during the whole situation where he changes his mindset from being proud to be a royal to wanting to take off this label. This example successfully relates to the topic of the paragraph because through Andy’s point of view, we are able to see Andy’s thought process and how he suddenly matures and realizes the importance of having his own identity. Furthermore, this example is significant because it relates to the conflict between Andy and himself. In this example, Andy fights himself over the decisions he made in life, starting to regret the decision of joining the royal.
Next, this example is also significant because it shows Andy’s character trait of being self aware, which is a character trait that he recently developed during the incident. It is only after getting stabbed when he realizes what is actually important in his life. Also, this character trait relates to the central message of the novel which is the importance of self identity and his self awareness makes him realize that he should be remembered as ‘Andy’ instead of just ‘some royal’.
After losing hope in getting rescued, Andy starts reflecting on his life:”He felt all at once as if he had never done anything, never seen anything, never been anywhere. There were so many things to do. He wondered why he’d never thought of them before, wondered why the rumbles and the jumps and the purple jackets had always seemed so important to him before. Now they seemed like such small things in a world he was missing, a world that was rushing past at the other end of the alley.” This shows that after reflecting on his life, he realizes what is actually important which is making his life meaningful and not wasting his whole life doing nothing. He also realizes what is not important which is the rumbles, the jumps and the purple jackets. This example successfully relates to the topic of the paragraph because he realizes that such small things like having a royal jacket should not define who he is and be such a big part of his life.
Moreover, this example is significant because it also relates to the conflict between Andy and himself. In this example, he regrets having never done anything, seen anything and been anywhere, he feels as if his whole life has been wasted doing things that are not important.Overall, the moral of the story that is intended by the author is the importance of self identity, which is developed throughout the novel by the setting, character and Andy’s point of view. As the novel progresses, the development of the theme is shown through the setting because it makes Andy feel hopeless which causes him to question if he was not wearing the royal jacket, would he had been stabbed? The development is also shown through the characters because Andy faces prejudices from the other characters because of his jacket which makes him realize the importance of having his own identity.
Lastly, the development is shown through Andy’s point of view because it shows the readers his thought process behind why he wants to take off his jacket and how he suddenly matures. We can apply this knowledge to the real world and make sure we do not have labels that define who we are but develop our own individuality ourselves.