Monster Study Guide

Conflict

The story takes place in Manhattan and Harlem, New York City, mostly in a city lockup, but sometimes in the neighborhood where Steve Harmon lives.

Protagonist

The protagonist of a story is the main character who traditionally undergoes some sort of change. He or she must usually overcome some opposing force. In this story, the protagonist is Steve Harmon, a sixteen-year-old black youth who is on trial for his life.


Antagonist

The antagonist of a story is the force that provides an obstacle for the protagonist. The antagonists include the justice system of our country, the neighborhood which impacts young men like Steve, the people Steve associates with in the neighborhood, and Steve himself.

Climax

The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist to resolve the conflict. The climax of this story occurs when Steve is found not guilty of the murder.

Outcome

The outcome, resolution, or denouement occurs in the final chapters when Steve is allowed to go home with his parents, but his “imprisonment” continues as he tries to make sense of who he is and the decisions he made. His final thought concerns what his defense attorney saw in him when he tried to embrace her with gratitude after the verdict. He questions whether he really is a good person.

Synopsis (Short Summary)

A sixteen year old boy named Steve Harmon finds himself on trial for murder after he is accused as acting as a lookout for the young men who actually commit a robbery at a Harlem drugstore and kill the store owner. The story is presented predominantly from his own viewpoint in the form of a screenplay and journal entries he writes, as he faces the trial and possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Monster". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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