What external conflicts are seen in Monster, by Walter Dean Myers?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There are multiple external conflicts found in Walter Dean Myers' novel Monster. External conflicts are defined through the following: man versus man, man versus supernatural, and man versus nature. In the novel, the external conflict of man versus man is prevalent.

Steve faces many different external conflicts. For one, he must face society. Given that he has been arrested, those in society may believe him to be guilty.

Second, Steve must face the man he is testifying against: King. Both Steve and King are on trial for murder. King repeatedly tries to intimidate Steve. When seated next to each other, King gives Steve harsh looks.

Third, Steve conflicts with his father. At the end of the novel, Steve's father cannot look at him in the same way he had prior to Steve's arrest and trial.

Fourth, Steve must face the jury. Steve's future is in the hands of the jury. It is up to them to decide if he is guilty or not.

Fifth, Steve must survive jail. In the opening of the novel, Steve explains how frightening jail at night is. He states that night is the only time a person can cry given the sounds of abuse going on.

Lastly, Steve conflicts with his lawyer. O'Brien believes that winning Steve's case simply means taking the death penalty off of the table. Steve's conflict with his attorney exists because she seems to think Steve is actually guilty.


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