Monster by Walter Dean Myers

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Monster by Walter Dean Myers

MonsterWalter D. MeyersBy:Hannah Gonzalez

How Do I feel?

Main Idea

What part does racism play in the courtroom? It is a very affecting role because it makes the chances of becoming not guilty slim. When court is place where the truth is supposed to be used at all times, why are people using stereotypes and making rude accusations? When people see someone in a orange jumper they think bad, someone in jail; but when they see someone black in a jumper they automatically think guilty.If court is a place of honesty, respect, and trust - why was racism involved? To the jury they believed that this was just another case, and the guy in the orange everyone claims is guilty,is guilty. Throughout the story a group of people are being questioned of a murder, can they all be held accountable because of what position they stand in? With the people on trial for murder they all have a pretty close connection and because they are all connected in a certain type of friendship, they all appear to be guilty.One night in jail can be scaring, imagine 25 years, at the age of 16 growing up I don’t think one of the stepping stones is going to jail. “When I looked at the kids in the class, they turned away from me quickly”(Myers, 97). As a teen I think it’s very hard to be put in a situation where your telling the truth and no one believes you. That’s why it’s very important not to break any bridges with people and be as honest.

The fact that Steve Harmon is young, is struggling to overcome being accused of murder, and has to spend his remainder in jail until they find the suspect to the murder is very hard to cope with. This also impacts his parents and how they see their son, being young and not knowing how your life may end up - possibly in jail for your whole life, is hard to watch not only for yourself but also for your parents to watch you go through. Steve’s fear grows as he wonders what the outcome may be. “Then I realized that the five guys doing the mopping must have looked alike and suddenly felt as if I couldn’t breathe”(Myers, 129). Steve strives to be better and the thought of him being there, in jail, is still hard for him to adapt too. “I wanted to be away from this place so bad, away from this place, away from this place ” (Myers, 130).

I believe the U.S. justice system served and both failed Steve Harmon. When you see all or any possible suspects of a murder in a jail uniform, you think well, they are all together they are all held accountable, they must associate in jail too. I think the U.S. justice system should have told Richard “Bobo” Evans to come into court well dressed because when you see him dressed up in his jail uniform he automatically looks guilty and so do the rest of the suspects. Which not only makes him look bad but, also Steve Harmon and James King. “She thinks I am guilty. I know she thinks I am guilty I can feel it when we sit together on the bench they have assigned for us. She writes down what is being said about me, and she adds it all up to guilty” (Myers, 138).The U.S. justice system made many other mistakes such as; the judge saw how Mr.Evans walked in and he just said, “ JUDGE:To tell you the truth, I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference. This guy looks like a basket case and he’s going to act like one” (Myers, 173). This shows that the judge didn’t really care what anyone was wearing, almost as if he already knew what his call would be before he even heard anyones closing argument. However, the system served Steve right because I can tell that he had nothing to do with the murder, he who was worried of what could happen in jail, he wouldn’t have been involved with the murder anyways if he knew this would happen. I think the U.S. justice service did Steve Harmon wrong because he was young and wouldn’t have been able to do such a crime, there were plenty of opportunities where he could’ve been proven not guilty but the system just passed it up. For example, when Mrs.Henry came into the courtroom she hadn’t recognized anyone but James King. They could’ve taken her say into perspective because Richard Evans claims that James King was the one with the gun and shot Mr.Nesbitt. However, Steve wasn’t involved in the murder he was only in charge to give Mr.Evans and Mr.King a signal when someone was coming to the market. All in all, they did Steven Harmon right because he wasn’t guilty to begin with I believe he was just judges based on racial appearance (and that is where Steve Harmon was done wrong).


Serve Or Not?

Overall, I found this story to be fascinating because even though the U.S. court system was suppose to be a place of honesty I could sense some racism going on. Steve Harmon was even able to tell that Miss O’Brien, Steve’s lawyer, thought he was guilty. And the judge even gets bored with the case, he is convinced to already know who’s responsible for the murder. When Mrs.Henry went in as a witness she believed that James King was the one who shot Mr.Nesbitt murder. Throughout the story Mrs.Henry was never sure of what she thought or saw. When at the drugstore Mrs.Henry didn’t see exactly what the shooters face looked like, she seemed to constantly second guess herself. But, people still believed her story, probably because they thought that, what harm could this lady bring, she’s just a witness. The system wouldn’t even know if she was some how connected to the group members and just be backing up for one of them. Richard “Bobo” Evans was one of the men clearly in the robbery, I’m curious thought of why he chooses to tell the “truth” about everything. About who he was with and what they did after the robbery. “PETROCELLI: What happened to the money you got from the robbery. BOBO: Like I said, we spent some of it on the fried chicken and wedgies. Then me and King split the rest” (Myers,181). How is it that after going through all the trouble of the robbery and seeing someone’s death they were still capable of eating. I feel that after all the events that occurred I’m proud that Steve got out of jail and is with his family,but he should’ve learned his lesson a little harder of staying away from people that aren’t actually your friends. “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 yourself as being different(Myers, 62).


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