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The Portrayal of Teenage Struggles in Monster by Walter Dean Myers

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Being a teenager is a very difficult time frame in the novel “Monster.” The theme of the novel is a central perspective. The main character Steve Harmon, a sixteen year old teenage boy who is struggling to keep his life in order, fights through several court sessions to regain his innocence after being accused of committing a crime. He pleads innocent but the other witnesses and evidence that are included point back at him. This novel takes place in New York at a detention center in the main character, Steve Harmon’s home town.

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The main character, a sixteen year old teenager Steve Harmon is charged with a crime that could end his freedom. Steve whom was arrested and put on trial for being part of a robbery of a convenience store where the owner was shot and killed. Two other characters Bobo and James King who are also in this novel were involved in the robbery as well were the ones to go into the store while Steve was the lookout. In conclusion, the charge agaisnt Steve, Bobo, and James King is a crime of robbery and murder of a convenience store and the owner. Towards the end of the court cases Steves attorney O’Brien believes he’ll lose the case of being innocent due to the court trying to prove his involvement in the robbery and murder.

Throughout the novel by Walter Dean Myers, Steve writes a playout of a movie about his life in prison and the crime committed. This is not a movie about bars and locked doors, it is about being alone when you are not really alone and about being scared all the time. “I’ll write it down in the notebook they let me keep.” In his movie playout, he can show the trial and fades from his past which helps him reconnect with himself and his life beyond prison.

Steve seems to show a lot of hate for the place and current position he is in. “I hate this place. I hate this place. I can’t write it enough times to make it look the way I feel.” Steve hates the prison because all the other inmates talk about hurting people. The other inmates also have handmade knives that make Steve uncomfortable. In this passage to conclude Steve’s feelings of hatred and scaredness in the prison explains how the other inmates act towards themselves and others around them. Steve had a tough time sitting in jail over a case that wasn’t even true, it was a hard topic to swallow for him and everyone around him that believes he is innocent.

Walter Dean Myers novel, Monster is heavily based on the central theme of believing something that is being told long enough to be endured, and believed but it doesn’t help that there are always negative people around who say negative things. In Steve’s circle of negative people he has one positive person named Sawicki, his favorite film teacher. Sawicki believed that Steve was an honest and good kid throughout the whole novel, and that there is no way that he could have committed the crime.

Steve, a smart and confused sixteen year old teenager charged with a crime, writes a movie playout about his past life, prison life, and life beyond prison who has a lot of hate towards the prison and story plot that describes how the novel is written and told to the readers. Even though Steve is a sixteen year old teenage boy with a falsely accused crime hanging above his head in prison and court, he still has a whole life guaranteed ahead of him outside of the enclosed prison where he will be cleared from as soon as he is proved innocent.   

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