Monster Choices

Assignment 1

Log choices made by Steve Harmon in the novel,                               by Walter Dean Myers.  Examine alternatives that were possible for the character.

Steve starts the novel with a choice; he decides to record his confusion and fear by creating a movie script which sill act as a journal and record of the trial he is enduring.  There are many alternatives to this reaction—Steve could weep, fight, yell, blame, lift weights, call people and talk… All these options are counter type.  As the novel progresses we find Steve to be a quiet and reflective person.  He chooses to write and examine what is happening rationally.  (page 4, Myers )

On page 24 Steve chooses to adopt the persona Monster.  He is profoundly affected by Petrocelli’s description of criminals as enemies of the Rule of Law and the community of people who depend on Rule of Law.  He could have chosen to be brazenly defiant or uncaring.  Instead he chose to feel the guilt.

When Steve’s movie script leads us back in time to view boys sitting in the neighborhood.  Steve, Freddy and Osvaldo are trading insults.  We suffer through Steve sitting with these boys and wonder, why does he choose to spend any time with  these people ?  Steve chooses to be part of a group that says of him, “He’s just a lame looking for a name.”  We wonder why would Steve want a name with these folks.  Steve ignores the opportunity to leave and not return.  Steve chooses to stay.  (p. 81,2)

During the description of the robbery we can see that Steve chooses to go to the store, walk in and walk out the front door.  Steve chooses to go to the store and cooperate with the robbers.  It is impossible to believe that he needs the money.  He must be doing this to fit in.  He could have stayed home, or gone out the back door.  He could have warned the store-owner.  He chooses not to gesture or speak to the robbers, but even without communication with them, he is complicit. (p195,6)

On the witness stand Steve chooses to lie.  This is an amazing decision. I think it cost Steve a lot to do this, I think he had the option to tell what was true.  It is possible that the words that were true would not have represented the truth.  In this situation Steve made a thoughtful choice. (p224)