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Monster O Brien Summary

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Monster O Brien Summary
O’Brien and Harmon: Is it Race?
Monster presents its audience with a unique experience: they get to decide the fate of the main character by being presented with the facts, before the judge presents the final sentencing. It is a story of racism and class and how that affects the judicial system. The idea maybe innocent until proven guilty, but in many cases of African Americans on trial, the sentence is often decided before the trial begins. This conflict of race not only applies to the person on trial and the judicial courtroom, but can find itself with the lawyers that defend them. At the end of Monster, Steve Harmon’s lawyer, Kathy O’Brien, turns away from Steve after he has been found innocent of murder. We, as the readers, are never
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She gathers her papers and moves away as STEVE, arms still outstretched, turns toward he camera” (276). O’Brien literally tenses up her whole body; like she is afraid of his arms reaching out, that his blackness will consume and overpower her if she embraces him. She sees him as a man, not a boy; she sees differences and stereotypes and ignores his humanity. She, regardless of the jury’s decision, has decided he is guilty. Myer uses “pensive” to indicate that when she looks at Steve, there is some thought or conclusion she is making about her client, seemingly a look of terror or mistrust. But it is how Steve interprets it that is important: “When Miss O’Brien looked at at me, after we had won the case, what did she see that caused her to turn away? What did she see?” (281). Steve has already had feelings of worthlessness, and calling himself a “monster”. When a white female, who was supposed to be fighting for him, rejects his act of comfort and celebration, he immediately assumes that he sees what he sees: the “monster” inside of him. O’Brien, not once, believed her client was innocent. Her preconceptions of who he is overtake her ability to see past his skin color and clearly who he is, and whether he is guilty or not, he is still a teenager who obviously

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