Study Guide

Monster Chapter 13

By Walter Dean Myers

Chapter 13

Journal

  • Steve writes that everything he mentions in the journal needs to be appropriate for Petrocelli to see; he also writes about his last meeting with O'Brien.
  • Steve asks her about her weekend, and she actually smiles at him, which means a lot to Steve.
  • When it's time for her to leave, he wishes she didn't have to go.
  • He's sure she thinks he's guilty.
  • "I'm not guilty" (13.6), he says, which O'Brien tells him was the wrong thing to say. "'You should have said, 'I didn't do it,''" (13.7) she explains. Ouch.
  • Steve also finds out a fellow prison buddy, Sunset, got a guilty verdict. Sunset thinks it's no big deal—he figures he has to do the crime time and doesn't seem to care.
  • Steve on the other hand is getting more and more scared about the whole twenty-five years to life thing.
  • He also still can't figure out why he's in there—all he did was stroll into a drugstore, buy some mints, and stroll out. What's the big deal?
  • Steve thinks on this for a while, noting that you have to actually do something wrong in order to be guilty, hopelessly confused about why he's on trial at all.
  • The other jail dudes hang out playing hearts and chatting about their cases.
  • Enter a newbie, Ernie, who's in the slammer because he was caught red-handed. Well, sort of.
  • Ernie robbed a jewelry store, took the goods, padlocked the employees in the back, and then hit the wall. Literally. He couldn't find the buzzer to open the front door, and he'd locked up the only people who knew where it was. Bummer.
  • Ernie claims he's innocent, though, since he never actually left the store. He thinks that should count for something, but Steve says he's just "trying to convince himself that he wasn't guilty" (13.22).
  • Would you like a side of violence to go with your lunch? Steve writes about how, at lunch, one guy stabs another in the eye and keeps beating on him. Steve thinks the inmates are trying to make violence the norm.
  • He also thinks he might try to kill himself if he's convicted.
  • Mrs. Harmon visits for the first time. She feels badly that she waited so long to come, and since she's crying, Steve believes it.
  • She says she's going to bring Jerry so Steve can wave to him from the window.
  • She also asks Steve if she should have hired a black lawyer, but Steve doesn't think it's a race thing.
  • Before she leaves, she gives Steve a Bible and asks him to read out loud a part about trusting in the Lord.
  • She tells him she knows he's innocent, no matter what; she also tells him she loves him. Then she starts to cry.
  • Steve heads back to his cell, wondering about his own innocence.