The Life Lessons About Self-perception In The Novel Monster By Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers is the author of Monster. His story focuses on Steve Harmon’s life in Harlem as he stands trial. It teaches us important lessons about self-perceptions, peer pressures, and judgement. Steve Harmon faces the challenges presented to him by his trial. Steve is first questioned to determine if he is really a monster and if he is a criminal, as the prosecution claims. Steve is able to discredit the notion that he is a criminal because he can prove them wrong. Steve has to face the consequences of his friends judging him as a “tough guy”. Steve soon learns that showing your friends you are worthy by violating the law is not an option. He should listen to his gut instincts, and not try to prove others wrong. Steve is now proving that the jury’s verdict of Steve guilty was wrong. They need to hear his side first before they judge. These lessons are valuable life lessons that can be applied to all aspects of life, including peer pressure, self-perception, and judgement through Steve’s character.

The novel is a good example of how self-perception can be powerful. Steve Harmon is concerned about the opinions of the jury about him. But he doesn’t want this to define him. In his notes, Harmon writes that Miss O’ Brien gazed at him. He didn’t actually see her but knew she was. She wanted information about me. What is the background of Steve Harmon? I wanted to reach out and touch my chest to reveal the true Steve Harmon. Steve Harmon wanted to be seen in this situation as a normal teenager. Not as a black-skinned, gangster that he is often depicted as. This shows that he is much more than the other prisoners. Steve is able to question his own actions and learn more about himself. He writes that his father had never seen him cry when he visited him in prison. He was not crying as I expected a man to. I was disgusted to see his eyes. What was I to do? What was my mistake? This shows that Steve Harmon is hurt by his son’s imprisonment and that Steve is hurt by the fact that he didn’t live up to his parents’ expectations. These moments make Steve rethink his self-perception and change how he views himself and interacts to others. These moments offer a valuable lesson on self-perception for readers. Individuals must be able to make decisions for themselves and not let others. If someone makes a bad decision, it will most likely lead to regret or worse consequences. Steve records that King curled the corners of his mouth and narrowed their eyes. What’s he going do to me, scare him? It was like he had a funny face. He was always looking at me and I wanted to be as tough as him. Now, I see him in handcuffs trying to scare myself. Steve Harmon understands that toughness and being someone else are two different things that can get you in trouble and may end up in prison. For citizens to reach their goals, they must think about their actions and the effects on them. Steve was forced to make a choice between his future and his friends. The decision that he made was a key to his understanding of what it means to be Steve. Steve wrote, “All we have is a lookout.” You should check it out. Make sure no badges are stealing your z’s. James King was clearly trying to get Steve to close the store. Steve pleaded guilty to the charges and used his instincts. Steve’s decision to not go with his friends to save the store shows that people can trust their instincts and resist peer pressure. Monster teaches readers the importance of resisting peer pressure and being true, to yourself.

The novel teaches valuable lessons about life and judgment. People should not base their opinions on what they see. When you examine the details, you may find something very different. Kathy O’Brien said that half of the jurors who were questioned when they picked the jury believed you guilty the instant they saw you. They don’t need any other information because you are Black, young, and on trial. This illustrates the impact of one’s skin color, race, or religion on how others view and react towards him or her. Steve Harmon is falsely accused of a crime that he did not commit. This is because people judge the actions of others based on their skin color. Kathy O’Brien states that Steve Harmon is innocent, as she has extensive criminal experience and that people may think so. When Steve’s mother inquired if Steve should have spoken to a Black lawyer, she said that they should. This was because many people in the area believed that Steve would be more likely to lose his case if he is black than his white lawyer. Steve’s mother said that some people in the neighbourhood suggested that I contact a Black lawyer. Steve replied, “I shrugged my shoulders.” It wasn’t about race. Steve now understands that it doesn’t really matter whether the lawyer is white or black. It is up to Steve to show jurors that he is different. He proved himself and had hope. His lawyer was not guilty. As the jurors look deeper into Steve’s character, they share their lesson on judgment with readers.

The lessons that Walter Dean Myers shares about judgment, peer pressure, self-perception, and self-perception should be integrated into daily life. Monster is Walter Dean Myers’s expression of the belief that people should be independent, not conform to others and that discrimination must be avoided. Through Steve Harmon’s experiences and life, Walter Dean Myers teaches these lessons. Steve not only addresses these lessons but also shares his experiences and explains how one’s thoughts can make a difference in life. The book shows us how dangerous the world can become when people are negative about themselves, have bad friends, or believe discriminatorily in society. This novel will help you to manage similar situations and problems in the future.



Isabel is a 30-year-old educational blogger and student. She has been writing about education for over 10 years and has written for a variety of different platforms. She is currently a student at the University of Utah.

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