An Analysis Of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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"I promise you, honey, we'll blast hair all over them walls." (22). This statement made by Dick Hickock, once the meaning is grasped, makes any reader repulsed and sick to the stomach. Even more repulsive however, is when Dick and his accomplice Perry Smith go to the house of an innocent four-person family, and fulfill Dick's promise. The murderous duo that the novel In Cold Blood is centered around are guilty of horrible thoughts and deeds, and the author Truman Capote establishes early on that the two men are evil. Yet by the end of the novel, these men seem more as complicated human characters then ruthless killers, and readers almost find themselves dreading the killers' inevitable and well-deserved execution. Capote is able to make readers …show more content…

This appeals to the reader's sense of ethos. The more human the killers become, the more we can see ourselves in them. Because of this, we can almost understand how their minds went down the path to the dark place they arrived. On top of this, Capote goes into great depth analyzing the morality of the death sentence that the murderers were charged with. He does this mostly through dialogue and through information given about the law system and the nature of the death sentence. ""...I sure as hell never murdered four people in cold blood." "Yeah and how about hanging the bastard? That's pretty goddam cold-blooded too."" (306). Statements like this, paired with other devices, cause the reader to question how ethical it was for these men to be …show more content…

After all, they did both participate in the murder of an innocent family. If you dig deeper however, you can find many emotional aspects that Capote has tucked into all corners of the novel that sympathise with the murderers. The most effective of these is the description of their pasts. I believe this is the main reason that Perry seems a more likable character than Dick. Though he was responsible for pulling the trigger of the shotgun all four times, the story of his tormented childhood (having his parents split, being beaten by nuns, and having his father take advantage of his ignorance) pull at the heartstrings of the reader, despite the terrible acts he goes on to

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