Differences In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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More than Murder In the novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote exposes the dark worlds of murder and mayhem. More common themes such as abuse and failed plans clash with purity and stability in this novel as portrayed through the differences between its characters. Capote interweaves the idea of one’s upbringing impacting their future throughout the story. Familial ties play a key role in displaying the explicit and symbolic differences among members of the Clutter family and their murderers in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Truman Capote expertly presents the contrasting upbringings of the Clutter children and Smith and Hickock to demonstrate how one’s specific situation defines their lives. Nancy Clutter, for example, was a girl of extreme…show more content…
Alcohol and strong words broke Perry’s family apart when his mother ran away and took her children with her. Perry despised his mother and escaped to his father several times. Finally, his mother placed him in a Catholic orphanage. In this orphanage, the nuns that worked there abused him for wetting the bed. Perry then moved to a children’s shelter where the workers also abused him for his bedwetting; one worker in particular nearly drowned him in a tub. Perry’s mother later died due to her alcohol abuse, and two of his three siblings committed suicide. His relationship with his father began to decline after their falling out, and his relationship with his sister deteriorated as he came to resent her for her formal education and stability. After this scarred upbringing, Perry turned to a life of crime.
In Cold Blood not only tells the story of the Clutter murders but also explains the importance of family. In the novel, the stability of a family dictates the outcome of the family members’ lives. The Clutter murders and other crimes committed by the murderous duo are direct results of their turbulent lives. The Clutter family represents innocence and the wholesomeness of a good, loving family, while Dick and especially Perry’s family lives symbolize corruption and chaos. As this familial chaos bled into their lives, it corrupted and ultimately robbed the lives of Dick Hickock and Perry
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