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He is constantly reflecting upon this in his journal entries. By structuring the book as a movie script being written by the character as he spends his days in prison, faces his jury, prepares with his lawyer, confronts his mother and father, and, most importantly, examines his own life, Myers presents Steve as a talented young man who may have made a single poor choice. Printz Award, Winner, 2000 Kentucky Bluegrass Award, Grades 9-12, Winner, 2002 Mechele R. The word can also be found scribbled faintly and scratched out on pages of the novel itself. However, Myers retains conflict necessary for building a compelling storyline by having Steve refuse to acknowledge his part in Mr. The result is that the reader wants to sympathize with the teen, but cannot help but wonder, if Steve truly does not understand why what he did was wrong, what is going to keep him from going astray in the future? Had he not given into the peer pressure by James King he wouldn’t have been involved with the robbery that led to the death of the store clerk. Myers often got into trouble at school and on the streets when trying to defend himself against the ridicule, causing many to label him a “Monster” (hence the name of his memoir), much like Steve Harmon was labeled a “monster.
The judicial system has many flaws, one of which being that they assume guilt before proof when it comes to people like Steve. He moved away, and the distance between us seemed to grow bigger and bigger” (280).
The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to cases like his. The reader is left pondering the good character of Steve, the bad friends he spent time with, the doctoring of his testimony, and the information that Steve provided us hinting both at his guilt and at his innocence.
What we do know is that many people think Steve is guilty.
One of the guards describes the case, “Six days – maybe seven. They go through the motions; then they lock them up” (14).
He accomplishes this throughout the novel in his journal entries which he makes during his time in jail awaiting trial. Nothing is wrong with that, of course–unless the purpose of that casual trip was to give the “all clear” for a robbery that ended in the murder of the store’s owner. Like his character, Walter Dean Myers grew up in New York.
Peer Pressure, This theme is the basis for how he ended up in his current situation. As a young man, he struggled with a speech impediment that caused many of his classmates and teachers to ridicule him and think him unintelligent.
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Introspection, Steve must come to terms with his own identity.
Therefore, think about what you are doing, consider the consequences of your actions, and choose wisely.
Walter Dean Myers’ Monster - Guilty Until Proven Innocent Monster is an example of what Patty Campbell would call a “landmark book.” Texts such as these “encourage readers to interact with the text and with one another by employing a variety of devices, among them ambiguity” (Campbell 1) Because it is told through the eyes of Steve himself, the plot can be difficult to decipher.