Monster Essay Test

Monster Essay Test
Part I – Plot Questions (Choose one of the questions below.)
1. Why do you believe the jury found Steve Harmon not guilty? Choose three facts in the case
that help to prove Steve’s innocence and explain how these facts affect the final verdict.
2. Choose TWO of the flashbacks in the story:
a. Steve with Tony (pg. 43)
b. Steve with his little brother (pg. 58)
c. Steve with Osvaldo (pg. 80-81)
d. Steve with Mr. Sawicki (pg. 19)
For both flashbacks, explain why we are shown that particular event. Why would Steve
include those events in his film? What do we learn about Steve or his situation as a result of
the flashback? Why is that knowledge important?
Part II – Character Questions (Choose one of the questions below.)
3. Kathy O'Brien, Steve's defense attorney, says half of the jurors automatically believe Steve is
guilty because he is young and black. Do you think this is truly the case? Why or why not?
Support your answer with evidence from the text.
4. Is Steve really a monster, as Petrocelli believes? Why or why not? Support your answer with
evidence from the text.
5. Compare one of the other participants in the robbery (Osvaldo Cruz, James King or Bobo
Evans) to Steve. How are their characters similar? How are they different?
6. Explain how Steve changes over the course of the novel. How would you describe Steve at
the beginning? How is that different from how you would describe Steve at the end of the
Part III – Quote Questions (Choose one of the questions below.)
Choose one of the quotes below and explain how it relates to the story. Then, give three reasons for
why you agree or disagree with the quote. Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
7. They are all equally guilty. The one who grabbed the cigarettes, the one who wrestled for the
gun, the one who checked the place to see if the coast was clear. – Petrocelli, pg. 260
8. My job is to make sure the law works for you as well as against you, and to make you a human
being in the eyes of the jury. – O’Brien, pg. 16
9. We lie to ourselves here. Maybe we are here because we lie to ourselves. – Steve, pg. 203
10. You ain't got the heart to be nothing but a lame. Everybody knows that. You might be hanging
with some people, but when the deal goes down, you won't be around. – Osvaldo, pg. 80
11. No matter what anybody says, I know you're innocent, and I love you very much. – Mrs.
Harmon, pg. 147-148
Part IV – Theme Questions (Choose one of the questions below.)
12. What would you think are the TWO most important themes (lesson, message, moral, etc.) of
this book? Why do you think so? Explain your answer using evidence from the text.
13. One of the main focuses of this book is the fact that Steve is African American and male. How
would the message of this book change if Steve were another race or gender?
Extra Credit Question (worth 10/100 points)
Tell me which celebrities you would get to play the following characters in a movie version of Monster:
Steve, O’Brien, Petrocelli, Briggs, Osvaldo Cruz, Bobo Evans, James King
Explain why you chose them. Then, tell me THREE songs you would have on the soundtrack. Explain why
you chose them.
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