Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote hints at his own opinion of the death penalty, yet lets the readers decide for themselves what they believe Hickock and Smith's punishment should have been. When the murderers are being hanged, a conversation occurs between a reporter and an investigator about what it might feel like to be hanged: "'They don't feel nothing. Drop, snap, and that's it. They don't feel nothing.' 'Are you sure? I was standing right close. I could hear him gasping for breath.' 'Uh-huh, but he don't feel nothing. Wouldn't be humane if he did'" (340). Furthermore, Capote includes the amount of time before Lowell Lee Andrews and Dick Hickock died. From the time of hanging to the time their hearts ceased beating, it took nineteen and twenty minutes, respectively. Also, in preparation for the trial of the Clutter family murderers, doctors did psychiatric evaluations of the pair. Capote includes what the doctors would have said had they been allowed to elucidate during the trial. The evaluations suggest that Hickock and Smith might have been better off in a mental institution. By including the conversation at the hangings, the elapsed time before death, and the doctors' unspoken evaluation, Capote suggests that neither the death penalty nor hanging is always the best course of action for a person's crime. Contrastingly, the opposite opinion is revealed through the character Alvin Dewey in the book. Capote writes about Dewey’s beliefs on the case: “[The Clutter family] had experienced prolonged terror, they had suffered. And Dewey …show more content…
Because of the arguments hinted at by Truman Capote in In Cold Blood, there will always be debate on whether capital punishment should be used for certain crimes. One can never be sure if a punishment, whether as mild as jail time or as severe as the death penalty, is justified for the crime
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Capote shows bias towards Perry by using certain writing techniques in order to stir sympathy towards Perry. Capote also uncovers the truth behind Perry and Dick’s friendship. Truman Capote sheds light onto Perry’s childhood in order to not only express his sympathy for Perry but also to get readers to develop sympathy towards Perry as well by using certain techniques. Perry’s mother
“And so it happened that in the daylight hours of that Wednesday morning, Alvin Dewey, breakfasting at the coffee shop of a Topeka hotel, read, on the first page of the Kansas City Star, a headline he had long awaited: ‘Die on Rope for Bloody Crime.’ The story, written by an associated press reporter, began: ‘Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, parteners in crime, died on that gallows at the state penetentary early today for one of the bloodiest murders in Kansas criminal annals. Hickock, 33 years old, died first,at 12:41 A.M.; Smith died at 1:19...’” (Capote 337). Though this quote is fairly long, I chose it because it shows justice being served to the brutal murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.
In Cold Blood In the story In Cold Blood Truman Capotes’ tone expresses lamentation and sorrow. The Clutters family brutally murdered by two viciousness killers. The diction of Truman Capote is of resent, and ambivalence. The murder scene left the town “furious” and “wondering” of who the killers had been they found the grotesque action “disquieting.”
Killers Often remembered and memorialized are the unfortunate victims of a homicide, and the executioners of the crime, the killers, are left away to rot in their graves, with their stories buried under the soil with them. In the true crime novel In Cold Blood, the author Truman Capote recounts the slaughter of a family of four in the quiet, once-ordinary town of Holcomb, Kansas by a pair of seemingly ruthless murderers. However, unlike most recounts, Capote’s work also focuses on the story and point of view of each criminal, letting readers familiarize with them. His comprehensive coverage of the killers, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, provides readers with a greater understanding of the two men.
(Capote 257). By Capote pointing out the lack of enthusiasm the lawyers had, he is trying to convince the audience that Dick and Perry did not receive a just trial and convincing the audience is not the role of a journalist. Then as the trial continues, Dr. Jones does not take the opportunity to tell the jury a crucial fact about Perry’s mental condition. Capote tells the reader, " But had Dr. Jones been permitted to discourse on the cause of his indecision, he would have testified: "Perry Smith shows definite signs of severe mental illness" (Capote 296). Capote is constantly pointing out moments where it seems Dick and Perry are not receiving a genuine trial convinces the reader that the death sentence is not justifiable due to the fact of the trial they received.
American society has always wrestled with the concept and ethics of capital punishment. Despite the meticulous process involved when convicting someone, there are many questions and exceptions about who qualifies and the process in and of itself, as to be expected when dealing with something so profound and permanent. What if the accused is mentally ill? What if the perpetrator committed the crime when defending someone else? What if the convicted is innocent, but still put to death?
Throughout In Cold Blood, a true-crime novel based on a multiple murder, author Truman Capote gives a more personal insight on the topic while standing up for the mentally ill and verbalizing his personal beliefs on how the they should be treated and viewed in the criminal justice system. Within In Cold Blood, Capote tells about the events leading up to the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers. During the trial, both of the criminals were declared mentally ill, but were still authorized to stand trial and execution as they had been proven to have the ability to decide between right and wrong, and therefore were considered mentally
By saying the individual on trial shall not live because they murdered another, this reflects back on the decision makers. It deems those making the decisions hypocrites. The court members are choosing whether one lives or dies, and if they choose the death option they are performing the exact crime the individual could be on trial for. Murder. The court’s final
Capote demonstrates his purpose through the use of extraordinary syntax. During the introduction of the novel, the sentences are lengthy and structurally complex, in the same manner
In his book, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes several rhetorical devices and strategies in pages 246-248 in order to establish a theme for the fourth section of the book, The Corner, and in order to properly end the third section, The Answer. Capote uses metaphor, diction, and tone shift in order to provide a comparison for Dick and Perry, to most effectively transition into the last section of the book, and to establish a grim and dismal mood. Capote uses an extended and extremely detailed metaphor in the first paragraph of page 246 with his reference to the tomcats. “Among Garden City’s Animals are two gray tomcats who are always together ―thin, dirty strays with strange and clever habits(246). This perfects relates to the personalities of Dick and Perry in
The prisoners had seen and experienced so much brutality, endured repeated beatings, and humiliated beyond imagination, so one more death did not affect them. Their emotions hardened to the point of being non-existent… or so they thought. Although the prisoners seemed hardened and unaffected by death, a different hanging did deeply affect them.
In the village of Holcomb, Kansas a wealthy family, the Clutters, was murdered on November 14, 1959. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith were convicted of these murders and received the death penalty. In Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood, the audience receives different viewpoints on why Dick and Perry either deserved the death penalty or not. Though the decision to sentence someone to death should be based on the truth, the truth is not always easy to define; Capote shows this through his depiction of the controversial executions of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. Criminal punishment is an immensely ongoing controversial and societal issue in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world.
Capote imagined his readers would be people who kept up with contemporary trends in literature, like readers of The New Yorker magazine, not just people who liked to read about gruesome murders. Purpose: Capote himself said that the purpose for In Cold Blood was to test the artistic merit of journalism. Critics, educators, and others
There were two men who were brutally honest, one saying, “ I believe in capital punishment, it’s like the bible says- and eye for an eye. And even so were two pairs short.” The other man was asked if he was for or against the capital punishment, he response was, “ Ordinarily i’m against it, but in this case no.” Capote uses the law as an example that even though the death penalty is wrong and makes you just as bad as the people that committed the crime. “ It is a relic of human
This piece of the novel is extremely important. It shows the reality of the situation. It is important to the readers to understand that every family has flaws. Capote goes on about how loved and cherish the Clutter’s are and how well known they are. It proves to society that even the most popular, the richest, the luckiest, and the prettiest people out there do not have perfect lives.