In Monster by Walter Dean Myers, what are some details about prison life that most notably affect Steve?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Steve Harmon describes the horrors of prison throughout the novel Monster and most notably is disturbed about the ongoing violence that takes place in the jail. In the Prologue of the novel, Steve mentions that someone was hit in the face with a tray during breakfast. There are several other scenes that depict the violent environment, including Steve hearing inmates raping another prisoner and a brawl that takes place during Sunday church service. The constant threat of violence scares Steve and is the major cause of his anxiety. Steve also finds it difficult to live in an environment surrounded by strangers. Steve expresses his loneliness throughout the novel and struggles to identify with the other prisoners. Steve also mentions how hard it is to act tough all the time. He cannot be himself in prison and is forced to walk around with a scowl to make himself appear tough in order to be protected. Between the constant threat of violence, loneliness, and psychological challenges, Steve Harmon's experience in prison is terrifying and difficult.