In the book, “Monster” by Walter Dean Myers, Steve Harmon was a 16 year old boy on trial for murder. He was visited by his father Mr. Harmon. During his visit, Mr. Harmon told Steve that he had many ambitions for Steve though these goals had changed while Steve was put on trial for murder. Eventually, Steve was found innocent and Mr. Harmon wanted very different things for his son. In other words, he had certain ambitions or things he wanted for Steve that changed over time.
Firstly, Mr. Harmon had certain plans for his son before he went to court. From the first time Mr. Harmon held Steve, he had already imagined Steve’s future. Mr. Harmon wanted Steve to follow in his footsteps because when he visited Steve, Mr. Harmon said, “I used to think of you going to Morehouse and doing the same things I did.” (Monster, pages 111, 112) Morehouse is the college Mr. Harmon went to. He never made the football team, but he dreamt Steve would. Parents always want their children to have a better life than they did, as Mr. Harmon wanted for Steve. It’s doubted that Mr. Harmon actually expected this from Steve, it wouldn’t have been realistic. At that time, he didn’t know what Steve liked and wanted for himself. All he had for the base of his dream for his son must have been what he had dreamed of when he was younger. Mr. Harmon just expected Steve to be a happy, nice child like any other parent would want for their child. No one would have imagined Steve in jail and definitely not his father. Mr. Harmon even imagined lecturing Steve for staying out late. These ambitions changed when Steve went on trial for murder.
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Secondly, while Steve was on trial, Mt. Harmon’s ambitions for Steve changed a lot. All he wanted was for Steve to be found innocent and for him not to go to jail. He just wanted Steve at home. When Mr. Harmon visited Steve, he said, “I even thought about getting mad at you for staying out too late.” (Monster, page 112) That was the only kind of trouble Mr. Harmon thought Steve would get into. After, he told Steve everything he had planned for his son when he was born. Mr. Harmon said, “I never thought of seeing you—you know—seeing you in a place like this. It just never came to me that you’d be in any kind of trouble…” (Monster, page 112) Then, seeing Steve in real trouble, in court, He didn’t get mad at him like he thought he would have when Steve stayed out late, he tried to comfort him. There was a part on page 113, from “Monster” that said, “Mr. Harmon turns away, then reaches back and touches Steve’s hand. A guard crosses quickly and moves the father’s hand away from his son.” By reaching out to him, Mr. Harmon was trying to comfort him—even if the guard prevented that. So what he wanted from Steve when he was on trial is for Steve to go back home with him. He said, “You’re going to be home again and it’s going to be all right.” (Monster, page 113) Mr. Harmon not only wanted this for his son, but for himself too. He was reassuring Steve as well as himself that everything would be all right.
Finally, in the end of, “Monster,” Steve is found innocent and goes back home like his father wished. Mr. Harmon’s ambitions for Steve changed again. It didn’t seem likely that Mr. Harmon’s ambitions for Steve would go back to what he wanted for him before. He didn’t care as much if Steve even went to college or not. Mr. Harmon just wanted Steve to be safe, at home, and to stay uninvolved with people like James King and Bobo Evans. He also wanted to know and understand Steve. After the trial, Steve wrote in his notes, “My father is no longer sure of who I am. He doesn’t understand me even knowing people like King or Bobo or Osvaldo. He wonders what else he doesn’t know.” (Monster, page 281) Presumably, Mr. Harmon’s view of Steve changed greatly and he wanted to be sure of Steve again. He wanted to close the distance that grew between them during the trial. He wanted to know what he didn’t know about Steve. He wanted to understand Steve.
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In conclusion, Steve had a life before he was on trial. He wasn’t always suspected of murdering someone or robbing a store. During this time, Mr. Harmon, Steve’s father, had things he dreamed his son would achieve in the future. Then, when Steve went on trial, those hopes and dreams changed. Going to court and being suspected for murder is a very life changing event. It changed Steve emotionally and it also altered Mr. Harmon’s ambitions for him.