Growing Up A Sociopath In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Growing up a Sociopath; Born a Psychopath
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a true story of a quadruple homicide in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas that greatly impacted the community in 1959. Capote begins his novel by introducing a prominent, well respected family in the community, the Clutters. The Clutters lived average everyday lives until they were abruptly ended at the mercy of a 12 gauge shotgun. The killers were two men unknown to the Clutters, who had two completely different backgrounds and personalities. By choosing to include details about each of the killers, Capote delineates the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths and suggests that the combination of the two personality disorders creates the environment for horrific
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Sociopaths, often described as having antisocial personality disorder, are not born with their traits but their experiences they go through make them the way they are. Perry Smith has many examples of how his upbringing has made him the way he is. Perry’s life was filled with violence and neglect. Perry had a seemingly happy life until his dad started to beat his mother and she turned to drunkenness and promiscuity. Finally perry’s parents split, which can also to lead to problems in children's lives, he travels with his mother and siblings to san Francisco where he constantly gets in trouble to which he blames it on having, “no rule or discipline, or anyone to show me right from wrong" (54). He ended up in a series of orphanages where he was severely beat and traumatized for wetting the bed. One nun at the orphanage would “ fill a tub with ice cold water, put me in it, and hold me under until I was blue.” Capote intends to provoke the audience's sympathy for Perry by including his terrible childhood experiences to explain his violent manner as well as provide reasoning to commit the crime he did. Perry has many examples of how his brutal life experiences cause his violent behavior. Perry has many sociopathic characteristics including, lack of moral responsibility or social conscience, erratic behavior, rage and anger, ability form a particular relationship to one person, crimes are usually spontaneous. Perry’s erratic spontaneous outbursts is what caused him to go through with the murders and slit Mr. Clutter’s throat which put him on the killing frenzy that ended the rest of the Clutters lives. Capote highlights Perry’s sociopathic tendencies by comparing them to that of Dicks Psychopathic tendencies which exemplifies how when put together they are at each others fault for the

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