What is the significance of adding the banter and discussion of the guards to the story in Monster?

The significance of adding the banter and discussion of the guards to the story in Monster is that these things further demonstrate the state of the uncaring world that the court and jail are.

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Walter Dean Myers's book Monster has Steve Harmon in several different settings. Readers get to see Steve in his neighborhood through flashbacks, we get to see him in court, and we get to see what it is like for him at the jail.

The court and the jail are very different environments in some ways, but they are also alike in that they are environments that are coldly indifferent to Steve. The court treats him like an object. Other people are talking for him and about him. His fate is being determined by other people. The courtroom is where Steve is first called a "monster"; however, it is in the jail that Steve begins to really question whether or not he is a monster. He tries to convince himself that he is nothing like the monsters that he sees around him in the jail, but he can't fully accept that, because he knows he is in jail.

The banter and discussions of the guards add a layer of harshness and indifference to the entire situation that Steve finds himself in. The guards freely talk about him and his fate. They make jokes about it. They place bets about the verdict, and they even make disgusting sexual innuendo comments about finding Steve and other inmates the right kind of boyfriend in prison. They are all terrifying comments for Steve, and they really show how the court system and prison system don't see Steve (and others) as people. They are objects to be convicted and moved from location to location.

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