Monster: The Monster In Walter Dean Myers Monster

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The definition of a “monster” is a threatening force. In Walter Dean Myers’ Monster, Steve Harmon the defendant in the trial is being charged for felony murder. The monster in him is the struggle between his innocence and guilt. Steve’s judgement of his actions is similar to a pendulum swinging. One side is his innocence translated to his testimony while the other side is his guilt which is seen in his diary. Because Steve wrestles with his degree of guilt in the crime, his voice in his private journal doesn’t match his public testimony.

Steve Harmon, the defendant, is faced with an internal conflict that questions his self-identity. In his diary, he wonders what people think of him, seeking the truth of his innocence. As seen in an entry he attempts to defend himself: “What did I do? I walked into a drugstore to look for some mints, and then I walked out”(140). As Steve attempts his defense, struggling with his innocence, he creates an excuse to save himself and to prove that he is innocent. However, he writes as if he knows he is guilty, but wants to cut himself some slack. Steve uses rhetorical questions to imply that he knows what he did wrong, but does not want to admit to the crime. He writes his part in the crime casually, which further conveys the conflict in his mind. He depends on others to bring clarity to his mind, such as saying, “What did I do?”. After the session at court was finished, Steve was insecure about what Ms. O’Brien, his lawyer, thinks of him. He
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