In Monster by Walter Dean Myers, how does Steve act when he is around people in his neighborhood? 

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Steve acts differently around different people in his neighborhood depending on his age and where he feels he fits in. In the flashback when Steve is twelve years old and walking with Tony, Steve is naive and childish. This is shown when Steve teases Tony about not being able to throw and then yells "Tony! Run!" after he accidentally hits a woman with a rock (Meyers 42). Steve then just stands there while Tony is beaten up by the "tough guy" who is with the woman that was struck by the rock.

Later, Steve begins to hang around other tougher kids in the neighborhood. He tries to act tough in order to impress and fit in with these boys. For example, when Osvaldo, a member of the Diablos gang, calls Steve a faggot and threatens to "burn him up," Steve responds by saying "I can kick your narrow butt any day in the week" (Meyers 81). Steve has learned to speak up and protect himself before being targeted by Osvaldo or other gang members.

Although Steve acts outwardly tough, on the inside, he is still shy and introverted. He learns to put on a tough facade in order to keep himself from being targeted, but deep down, Steve wants to lay low and stay out of trouble. He feels that by acting similarly to the other kids in his neighborhood, he can fit in and stay out of the way of the Diablos but soon learns that this is not the case as Osvaldo testifies against Steve during his trial.

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There are several scenes throughout the novel Monster which depict Steve Harmon hanging around with people in his neighborhood. Steve Harmon wishes to gain notoriety for being tough and has recently begun hanging out with a group of thugs. Early in the novel, Steve has a flashback to when he was sitting on a stoop smoking a blunt with James King, Johnny, and Peaches. Steve is shy and doesn't say much as the others discuss the ideal place to rob. Johnny doesn't know Steve because he's never seen him before and says, "Since when you been down?" (Myers 56). In another scene, a person named Freddy asks where Steve went to school and Osvaldo Cruz begins to make fun of Steve. Steve tries his best to act tough and threaten Osvaldo, but Osvaldo mentions that he is in a gang called the Diablos. When Freddy comments that Steve hangs with some bad dudes, Osvaldo says, "He don't hang with nobody. He's just a lame looking for a name" (Myers 86).

In other scenes that depict Steve talking with King about the robbery, Steve is rather short and does not speak a lot. Overall, Steve is relatively new to the group of people he's been hanging out with and doesn't speak much. Although he is shy, he tries his best to fit in by smoking blunts and making minor comments. Steve Harmon is simply trying to act cool and make a name for himself by hanging out with tough individuals in his neighborhood.

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