By Walter Dean Myers
The main character in the novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers is 16-year-old Steve Harmon who has been arrested and put on trial for his part in a robbery in which a convenience store owner was killed. A question that people can ask while reading this novel is, was Steve Harmon truly the lookout for the convenience story robbery or was he in the wrong place at the wrong time? Regardless, he has been arrested for his part in the crime that led to the killing of the store's owner. Through his journal writings and his movie scripts, complete with stage directions, Steve shares his story of his observations of what he sees and hears from his prison cell, and his fears as he is placed on trial and possibly facing 25 years to life in prison. During the novel there has been given pretty much all-different kinds of evidence.
We know that Steve was in the store the day of the killing, and that he had discussed his role with James King. Steve says he did not signal the others, they say he did. We are never shown directly what happened when Steve emerged from the store. Steve's own father and his defence attorney both seem to have doubts about his innocence. Under the law, if he conspired with others to commit a felony (the robbery), and someone dies in the course of that felony (no matter how the death occurs), all of the conspirators may be guilty of felony murder. So there are hints that he may be guilty.
On the other hand, we have ample testimony that he is basically a good kid. His teacher, his mother, his relationship with his little brother. His journal, Steve writes: .I want to look like a good person. I want to feel like I'm a good person because I believe I am. But being in here with these guys makes it hard to think about you as being different. We look about the same, and even though I'm younger than they are, it's hard not to notice that we are all pretty young. . We don't see him actually agree to take part; just that he was