Chapter 11 Summary
The final chapter of Monster takes place five months after the trial and almost a year after the murder of Mr. Alguinaldo Nesbitt. Harmon writes in his notes that James King was sentenced to twenty-five years to life. Osvaldo Cruz, the fourteen-year-old member of the Diablos and the person meant to interrupt any pursuit of the robbery, went on to steal a car, for which he was arrested and sent to a reformatory. To the best of Harmon’s knowledge, Richard “Bobo” Evans remains in prison.
During the trial, Steve Harmon recorded everything to make into a film. Since the trial, he has been making films, though he admits that his mother does not understand what he is doing. The films Harmon has been making have all been about himself. He talks to the camera and explains who he is and what he thinks he is. At times, he just tapes himself walking toward the camera from a variety of angles. At other times, he tapes a reflection of himself. He wears different clothes and speaks in different voices. Sometimes Steve lets his younger brother, Jerry, hold the camera because it makes him happy. Although his mother does not understand what he is doing, Steve says she is happy to have her son at home.
Steve’s mother is happy to have her son at home, but his father has not been the same since the trial. Harmon explains that he and his father hugged after the not-guilty verdict was read at his trial; after they parted, a distance formed between them, and this distance has only increased. Harmon knows that when his father looks at him, he cannot tell who his son is. Harmon explains that his father cannot even understand why his son would know people like Richard “Bobo” Evans, John King, or Osvaldo Cruz. If he does not know that, what else does he not know?
Steve Harmon films himself because he does not know who he is either. He explains that he is looking for the part of him that caused O’Brien to turn away from him at the end of his trial. Did she see a monster? Her response recalls an earlier statement in the novel. When asked whether he would win, O’Brien responds that it “probably depends what you mean by ‘win.’” If Harmon was indeed involved in the robbery, he has gotten away with murder in the eyes of the law. When she looked at Harmon, did she see a monster? The novel closes with Harmon’s unanswered question, “What did she see?”