Study Guide

Monster Chapter 4

By Walter Dean Myers

Chapter 4

The Trial/ Screenplay

  • Wendell Bolden takes the stand. He's a mean dude and not afraid to flex his angry muscles.
  • Petrocelli gets his story: Bolden's a regular on the jail scene, and he's been in cuffs for all kinds of reasons.
  • Of the various charges he's received over the years, his assault charge went bye-bye. Duly noted.
  • Asked for his version of his conversation with Zinzi, Bolden offers this: A guy sold him some smokes from a robbery on Malcolm X Boulevard, and Bolden wanted to use the intel to get himself some leeway.
  • Who gave him the info? Bobo Evans.
  • When Bolden says this, the camera turns toward King, who gives Bobo a death stare. Grrrr.
  • And it's flashback time again.
  • We're hanging on a stoop on 141st Street; broken trikes and overflowing garbage litter the scene.
  • Steve, King, and Peaches sit on the stoop as Johnny stands nearby.
  • King needs moolah in a bad way, and Peaches moans about the government wanting to cut welfare and social security.
  • In order to get money, though, King says he needs a crew. Translation: he needs a crew to steal money.
  • Peaches says banks are great targets, but Johnny says they're too serious and that it's best to rob someone who "the man" doesn't care about: a green card holder or illegal immigrant (4.27).
  • Restaurants have money, too, Peaches chimes in.
  • "What you got, youngblood?" (4.29) King asks Steve. "I don't know" (4.30), Steve answers, and then Johnny asks him how long he's been "down" (4.31).
  • The film heads back to the courtroom and Bolden.
  • Bolden finishes his story about buying the cigarettes: When Bobo sold them, he said the robbery had just happened.
  • Finally, Petrocelli asks when this all happened, and Bolden says it was right before Christmas.
  • Now it's Briggs' turn.
  • Briggs questions Bobo's truthfulness, claiming that Bolden doesn't really know Bobo, and doubting that Bobo blabbed all that info to him. Bolden says he doesn't care what Bobo wants to tell him.
  • Briggs asks Bolden if he ever wondered about the truth of Bobo's comments—heck, that info could put Bobo in the slammer for years. Bolden doesn't care though.
  • In exchange for his intel, Bolden's assault charges were dropped, which is a pretty good deal.
  • Briggs pushes Bolden on this point, wondering whether getting his charges dropped motivated him to point the finger. Bolden says, "I just wanted to do the right thing. You know, like a good citizen" (4.57).
  • Briggs doesn't like this answer, though, and claims Bolden wasn't trying to be a good citizen all—he just wanted to escape the man.
  • Petrocelli objects, and the judge ends the trial for the day.
  • The camera heads back to the jail cell, where everything is dark and two guys are beating someone up.
  • Steve hears the sounds as he lies on his cot, closing his eyes when the beating turns into a rape.
  • Flashback to Steve's house.
  • Steve and his little brother, Jerry, watch TV.
  • Jerry asks Steve if he wants to be a superhero, and Steve says he wants to be Superman.
  • Jerry thinks Steve should be Batman so he can be Robin. Aw, shucks.