In the novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers, how is Steve Harmon considered the protagonist and antagonist of the story? 

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This is an interesting question because it accurately points out that it is not normal for a story's protagonist and antagonist to be the same person. By definition, a story's protagonist is the central figure of the story. Notice how it doesn't say anything about the protagonist being the "good guy" or the person that the audience considers the hero. Monster is a story about Steve Harmon, his involvement with a crime, and the following trial; therefore, he is the story's protagonist. An antagonist is a character that stands in opposition to the protagonist. More often than not, a story's antagonist is considered the "bad guy;" however, Steve is his own worst enemy. It's possible to consider the prosecuting attorney the antagonist, but the story's main conflict is an internal conflict that Steve has with himself. He struggles throughout the narrative to justify his actions and see himself as not a monster. In terms of his overall mental and emotional health, Steve is his own worst enemy.

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In literature, the protagonist is considered the central figure of the story and is also the character which moves the narrative forward. The antagonist is the character that opposes the protagonist and causes conflict throughout the story. In the novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Steve Harmon could be considered both the protagonist and antagonist. The novel is told through Steve Harmon's perspective, and he tells the story of his trial for felony murder. Since Steve is the main character, he is the novel's protagonist. However, Steve Harmon puts himself in a compromising position in the novel by agreeing to participate in the robbery of a drugstore. Steve made a conscience decision to participate in a crime which landed him in jail, where he is on trial for his life. Since Steve made a decision that essentially harmed himself, he could be considered an antagonist. Steve also struggles to make sense of his morals and decisions throughout the novel. Steve is his own enemy because it was his decision to associate with thugs and agree to help in the robbery. 

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