In Monster, what is a lesson Steve learns from the other inmates, and how will this help him in the future?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Towards the end of the novel, two inmates are discussing their legal proceedings. One of the inmates comments that he has no other choice but to lie while he is on the witness stand because telling the truth will result in a ten-year sentence. The other inmate comments that once you're in the system, there is no time "to get all holy," and you need to focus on getting out any way possible. When the other inmate responds by asking what the truth is, Steve says, "The truth is truth. It's what you know to be right" (Myers 225). The other inmate then says the truth is something he gave up while he was on the street. Once you're in the system, it is all about survival. Steve learns his idea of the truth will not help him get out of the system. Steve realizes he will have to lie on the witness stand to make it out of jail. Steve must do everything in his power to avoid being found guilty. When Steve testifies, he alters his story and is found not guilty.