Monster Study Guide

Journal Entry #5

Steve is shook by his father’s tears and sobs. He has never seen him cry before. Instead of being sympathetic to his father’s sadness, he cries out, “What did I do? Anybody can walk into a drugstore and look around.” Now he fears that his father is looking down to see his son and seeing a monster instead. He thinks his dad feels the same way as Miss O’Brien - that the jury won’t see any difference between him and all the bad guys taking the stand.


This is a significant journal entry for two reasons. First, we see a very selfish side of Steve, perhaps evoked by fear, but selfish nonetheless. Second, Steve admits in this entry to have gone into the drugstore and looked around. However, he stops short of admitting that he did so as part of the robbery. His father’s behavior obviously shows the reader that he feels Steve was part of the entire crime.

Thursday, July 9th Continued

A flashback occurs at this point in Steve’s neighborhood. There are two women discussing the murder at the drugstore. Steve is holding a basketball and stands within earshot of the two. He hears them bemoan the guns in the neighborhood and the shame of Mr. Nesbitt’s death. He drops the basketball and begins to walk and then run away from the sounds of their voices. The camera pans the basketball left lying in the gutter. The scene then shifts to the television newscast of the crime where a resident of his neighborhood explains that he’s not surprised by the death since they killed a little girl two months before and she had just been sitting on her stoop. The camera cuts to Steve’s apartment where he is watching the news program. His brother switches to cartoons while Steve stares straight ahead in absolute shock. Then, it’s two weeks later and Steve’s mother has returned with groceries to tell him they captured the guys who killed the drugstore owner. The TV once again relates the story with a shot of Bobo in handcuffs. Then, the camera moves to Steve’s bedroom where he lays on his bed, eyes open but not seeing anything. The doorbell rings. Detectives Williams and Karyl enter, handcuff Steve, and take him away. Mrs. Harmon is panicky the whole time, not understanding why they’re taking her son away. She follows the car down the street to the corner before she realizes that she doesn’t even know where they are taking him.


Flashbacks once again reveal important information for the reader who at this point knows more than the jury, but not necessarily enough to determine Steve’s guilt or innocence. He is obviously deeply shocked by the news of the murder, but is the shock because he didn’t know it had happened or because he’s afraid he’ll be caught? The saddest part of the entire section is the terrible toll the arrest takes on his mother and his little brother who really the innocent ones, but who have now lost their innocence.

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