How Is Steve Harmon Portrayed In Innocent

1310 Words6 Pages

Sophie Quattlebaum
Ms. Gourd
Pre-AP 10th ELA
March 29, 2018
Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Racial profiling is defined as, “the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense.”, that is the very issue that Steve Harmon faces in Walter Myer’s, Monster. In this book, Steve Harmon is accused of a crime he did not commit on the basis of racial profiling. Being an African American youth affects how people treat him and the outcome of this novel. Accurate elements of culture represented in this novel are customs, speech, and traditions. In the beginning of the book, the text states, “My job is to make sure the law works for you as well as against you, and to make you a human being in the eyes of the jury.” …show more content…

In this novel, Steve is affected by his culture especially in the courtroom. This is widely portrayed towards the end of the book where the text says, “It’s probably those crack people. They say they’ll do anything for that stuff.” (Myers 118). This shows how culture affects the novel because in that community it’s common that people have drugs. It is also easily inferred that that’s what the jurors think of Steve. They believe since he belongs to that neighborhood, that he’s just like everyone else. Another example is in the beginning when Steve and his lawyer are first discussing the case, “They jury might think they’re doing you a big favor by giving you life in prison.” (Myers 12). This shows how his culture affects the novel because the jury thinks they would be blessing Steve with life in prison regardless of if he did it or not. They don’t care if he’s innocent, the fact that is he is African American living in a poor community which makes him come off as someone who would commit the crime. Another example can be found in the middle of the book where the Osvaldo Cruz is on the stand. “So to be a member of this gang, the Diablos, you have to fight a gang member and then cut someone. Usually that’s done to a stranger and the cut is made in the face, is that right?” (Myers 108). Clearly, this is an example of how the culture affects this novel because the jurors see a young, African American who belongs to a gang and cuts …show more content…

This can be seen here, “I can’t write it enough times to make it look the way I feel. I hate, hate, hate this place.” (Myers 46). This displays how he starts out in the beginning. He’s emotional, he is being dramatic, and he is stressing about the environment he is in when he’s only been in there for a short while. He starts to grow a little bit more a few pages over. “The man they called Sunset asked me if he could read the screenplay, and I let him. He liked it.” (Myers 60). This shows how he is growing because he is becoming more comfortable where he is. He used to be scared of other people, but now he’s letting other people read his movie. At the end of the book, he is obviously more mature. “ ‘Steve made a formal decision,’ Ms. Petrocelli said. I think about December of last year. What was the decision I made? To walk down the streets?” (Myers 270). This helps show how he has developed because he’s being more forceful. Instead of being really scared he is questioning the lawyers and challenging what they are

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