What does it say about Steve's guilt that he says "I hate this place so much. . .All they talk about in here is hurting people" in Monster?

The fact that Steve hates jail so much seems to speak to his innocence, but it doesn't guarantee he didn't participate in the crime. He has never been in close proximity to so many hardened criminals, and is scared by their talk and plans to commit more crimes. The reader never learns if Steve is truly innocent or guilty in Monster.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Steve Harmon is a guy who grew up glamorizing the tough guy, thug life style. However, his time in jail shows Steve just how incorrect his romanticized view has been.

Let's get one thing straight. Readers never actually find out if Steve is guilty of participating in the crime or...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Steve Harmon is a guy who grew up glamorizing the tough guy, thug life style. However, his time in jail shows Steve just how incorrect his romanticized view has been.

Let's get one thing straight. Readers never actually find out if Steve is guilty of participating in the crime or not. We would like to believe that he is innocent, but can't claim that with 100% confidence. He lives in a tough neighborhood surrounded by guys that talk tough and plan on doing illegal jobs in order to make money. Steve thinks these guys are kind of cool—that is why he hangs around them. The key is that Steve can choose when and where to be around guys like King.

Once Steve is in court and jail, he can't escape people looking at him like he's a monster. Either the jurors think he's a monster and want nothing to do with him, or he's surrounded by real monsters that think Steve is similar to them. The jail monsters talk about their previous crimes, the things they are going to do, and their appeal processes. The violence and anger of the place genuinely scares Steve.

However, Steve being scared doesn't mean he is innocent. Steve has never been in this kind of environment before—he is scared of it. He's scared that he might end up there for a very long time. He could be innocent, and the jury might not believe him. He could be guilty of the crime too. He thought helping King would be cool. Now he knows otherwise. Steve is scared of jail and the people there, but fear doesn't prove he didn't help King.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team