Analysis Of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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In 1966, Truman Capote published the novel In Cold Blood that pierced the boundaries of literary genres, as he narrated the events of the 1959 Clutter family massacre in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas and the quest that took place afterwards through the perspectives both the murderers and those looking for them. As Capote bends these genre normalities, he ventures with the killers and the detectives and describes the murderers’ lives in-depth to further characterize Dick Hickock and Perry Smith--their psychological states and the possible contributing factors to their undeniable personality disorders. A mental health professional ultimately diagnoses the killers with mental illnesses rather than chronic personality disorders, an injustice still commonly made today in the psychology field, and determines them to have known right from wrong in terms of their crime. Throughout this novelistic journey, Capote explores the distinction between psychopathy and sociopathy, specifically the textbook lack of remorse and guilt, the mask antisocial individuals tend to display as their public persona via falsified charm and manipulation, and overall moral compass, or lack thereof, between the two. Furthermore, Capote dissects the psychological differences between individuals with antisocial tendencies present at birth versus those tendencies acquired through environmental factors. Through combining the evidence of his findings, Capote contends that individuals born “evil”
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