"I could smell the different scents of him. He had on aftershave lotion and some kind of grease in his hair."
In the courtroom, Steve is overwhelmed by the smell of James King. Steve's sensory sensitivity reveals the effect that James's presence has on Steve. In addition, the products that James uses—hair gel and aftershave—are generally perceived as masculine. In including this detail in the narration, Steve's impression of James is that he is a mature and grown man.
The Odor of the Disinfectant (Olfactory Imagery)
"I tried to suck the air into my lungs, but all I got was the odor of the disinfectant and I started gagging."
When Steve is mopping the jail floor, he is overwhelmed by feelings of nausea and breathlessness. He is panicked that he is given the physical task of mopping the jail floor, and he grows worried when he begins to think that he cannot complete this chore. His body physically reacts to his anxiety, and he feels the urge to vomit. Steve's desire for physical release reveals the toxic nature of his pent-up emotions.
Pictures of Mr. Nesbitt (Visual Imagery)
"The pictures of Mr. Nesbitt scare me. I think about him lying there knowing he was going to die."
Steve is profoundly affected by the pictures of the crime scene that are circulated around the court during his trial. The iconography of these images is used as a tool for the prosecution. By showing these brutal and violent images to the jury, she hopes to provoke an emotional reaction, and thus influence them to convict the defendants.
Punching (Auditory Imagery)
"We hear the sounds of fists methodically punching someone as the camera goes slowly down the corridor..."
This detail in Steve's narration reveals the incessant violence that is present in prison. The fact that the punching is described as "methodical" shows us how normal and routine the violence is. The sound following the camera as it pans away reveals the inescapable nature of the violence.
Monster Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Monster is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.