Monster Critical Essay

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Have you ever been on trial for a murder you didn’t commit, and risked the rest of your life being spent in jail? Probably not, but in the book "Monster" that is the case for Steve Harmon, a poor African-American in rundown Harlem in the book "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers, which is a fascinating piece of Young adult literature. The story is told from Steve’s perspective in a movie format. It does this as it seems to be like a movie in his mind that follows his life in jail and in the courtroom. The search for truth is the most important and overriding theme in this story. The first use of the search for truth in Walter Dean Myers' book is how Steve is searching for the truth within himself. Early in the novel Steve is sitting in prison trying to figure out what really happened, because he is being declared guilty, even though he is innocent. He goes through his dealings with people from his neighborhood who actually committed the crime, which can be shown here in the quote from Peaches “That’s the only thing left in our neighborhood restaurants, liquor stores, and drugstores” (Pg.51, Monster). This quote helps to show how he goes through his mind to try and understand how he can even be thought of a suspect, not even starting to fathom how he can be put on trial for this crime. While searching for the truth, Miss O’Brien breaks the news that it is not the evidence, per say, that is convicting him of the crimes, but it is his race and his younger age. The excerpt from the book helps show how Miss O’Brien just told him how he is looked at in this trial “Miss O’Brien says that Petrocelli is using Bolden’s testimony as part of a trial that will lead me and James King. I think she is wrong. I think they are bringing out all these people and letting them look terrible on the stand…then reminding they don’t look any different from me and King” (Pg.60, Monster). This quote help shows how when Steve is searching for his truth he encounters answers he would not like to...
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