Dick from In Cold Blood maintained that he was less guilty and did not deserve the death penalty. In stating this, Dick was not correct that he was less guilty. There are justifiable proofs that diminish his chances of being less guilty. These proofs are found within the book and can be represented through his demeanors and actions prior to and after the night. Richard Eugene Hickock (Dick) in In Cold Blood is just as guilty as Perry in that he had clearly displayed his intent for killing the Clutter family. Dick did not have any second thoughts about the murder. He had firmly wanted to walk-in and kill the Clutter family despite their innocence. Dick viewed the Clutters’ as an opportunity that was going to make him rich. There was not any …show more content…
Perry wasn’t just included in the plan, he was hand-picked by Dick. Dick believed that Perry had the killer mentality that was necessary to kill the Clutters’. Dick was very opportunistic towards Perry and wanted to use him. By using Perry, Dick proves that he is a manipulator who is also the mastermind behind the plan. The situation of Dick and Perry is comparable to the situation that had occurred twenty years prior to the Clutter family murder. This situation is that of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Hitler was an evil mastermind who manipulated and persuaded the Nazi Party to kill millions of Jews. Dick is similar to Hitler in that he manipulated and persuaded Perry to kill the Clutters’. While the comparison between Dick and Hitler may seem dire, it does not deviate from the fact that he is the source of the killings. The weapon that was used to kill the Clutters’ belonged to Dick. In many cases of murder, the source of the weapon used to kill is pivotal in determining the final verdict. Likewise, Dick’s shotgun being used in the murder acknowledges and solidifies that Dick came prepared to slaughter the Clutter family. The dilemma of Dick’s shotgun poses a question: why would someone declare themselves less guilty if their gun was the weapon used to kill the family? Dick becomes desperate to detach his involvement in the murder, which causes him to affirm and declare nonsensical
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In Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” Dick and Perry have murdered the Clutter family and are on their way to Mexico. In this passage, Dick makes an astounding statement. In the passage, Dick claims that he’s “a normal” but that is far from the truth. He is a conniving, manipulative son of a bitch who thinks he’s normal in comparison to Perry.
This Quote represents Insanity (Sociopathy) because it shows both Perry’s killer natural way of thinking and it also shows Dick’s colossal use of them to get what he desires. Dick suffers brain damage he received from a concussion and Perry has paranoid schizophrenia . This could possibly contribute to their questionable mental state of mind. Some symptoms of insanity include : frequent lying, stealing , fighting , no guilt or remorse for anything whatsoever , breaking the law repeatedly , the ability to act charming and witty, disregarding of the safety of others, manipulating other people 's emotions, and inability to tolerate frustration . Both Dick and Perry poses some of these traits / symptoms which may lead us to believe they could
In In Cold Blood, the issue over the death penalty is prominent. Did Perry and Dick deserve to die? Should the severity of one’s crime determine one’s fate? Although Truman Capote writes the novel in a straightforward, “from a distance” way, he conveys, through his characters, theme, and plot development, that the death penalty is an issue that should be looked at from all sides and that the legal system itself is the real issue at hand, and that the death penalty is used as a means to suppress the distress and indignation of the citizens surrounding the case, instead of suppressing the victim himself.
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
Although he ended up being one of the murderers of the Clutter family, the readers often felt sorry for him. In the beginning of the novel the reader finds out that Perry was actually very nervous about committing the crime, he and Dick were on the road to do. Capote made it seem like Perry
The novel, In Cold Blood, is an anomaly in the literary paradigm. The author, Truman Capote, designed his novel in a way that made it unique when compared to others. His fundamental purpose was to present the problem of American violence and the fragility of the American Dream and how it can be so easily shattered. In order to portray his purpose, he used many rhetorical devices including syntax, diction, tone, ethos, logos and pathos. These devices allowed Capote’s novel to be different from the spectrum of other non-fiction novels and to support his purpose.
However, the Clutters have certain aspects which could be considered ‘abnormal’, especially in the case of Bonnie, a depressed and reclusive mother. Perry and Dick are juxtaposed with the Clutters, they are a seemingly abnormal duo, who are antisocial, have a hunger for murder and are even physically disfigured. Both Perry and Dick have attributes that are still somewhat ‘normal’ despite their surface abnormality. Perry is sensitive, creative and sings, Dick has had an upbringing that was completely typical of any American child, that is, he was brought up in a loving and caring environment, with enough money to live comfortably and attend secondary education. Dick also constantly defends himself saying: “I’m a normal”.
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?
Although Perry is responsible for the murder of four innocent people, Perry’s actions do not reflect on who he is as a person because he is easily influenced, therefore; showing how easily people can be pressured into doing something they would not typically do. Dick, a violent, cold-hearted, manipulator, has molded Perry into the person he is today. As Perry is a follower, Dick has taken advantage of that by turning Perry into the cold-blooded killer he is today. Capote displays Dick’s manipulation of Perry through symbolism to make evident that while Perry did pull the trigger on four innocent people, although the fault does not entirely lay on him, as he was taken advantage of by Dick.
He is portrayed as a mastermind in the cold-blooded killing of the Clutters family, a man with little respect for the lives of others, which can be seen through Dick’s expression before the murder of the Clutters when he converses Perry, “We’re gonna go in there and splatter those walls with hair” (Capote 234). This sudden tone shift enables Capote to depict Dick as a cruel and immoral character. Dick’s lack of empathy and concern for other people beside himself allow him to commit crimes without remorse, which is in contrast to Perry’s moral contemplation after each bad actions they committed. Moreover, Dick is represented as the true criminal with evident motives in murdering the Clutters, while Perry is seen as a vulnerable victim who depends on Dick for validation and acceptance, something in which Dick happily provides in order to manipulate Perry, as Capote writes, “Dick became convinced that Perry was that rarity, ‘a natural born killer,’—absolutely sane but conscienceless, and capable of dealing with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows. It was Dick's theory that such a gift could, under his supervision, be profitably exploited” (Capote 205).
Throughout the book, Perry is genuinely the cold-blooded killer, and the reader 's view him that way. While in interrogation, Dick confessed that “ Perry Smith killed the Clutters... It was Perry” (Capote 230). At this point, the audience doesn’t know if they believe that Perry killed all four or if Perry killed two and Dick killed two. While talking in the interrogation room, Dewey mentioned to Perry that “Hickock [thought of Perry as] a natural born killer.
Capote portrays only one of these two seemingly distinct characters (Perry) in a way that the reader feels the need to relate to and even sympathize with him. One can be taken aback by such an attachment to a murderer. This is not surprising as the author uses his compassionate diction to manipulate the reader’s emotions with a use of pathos, the appeal to emotions. At one point Capote goes as far as to write that “Smith’s life had been no bed of roses,” (Capote 245) attempting to have the readers relate to Perry. On the other hand, Capote has Dick say this about himself: “Deal me out, baby, I’m a normal” (Capote 116).
Together, they killed a small town family for forty dollars in cash. Capote tells of their lives before the killing, on the run, and when they were on death row. It is clear to the reader that Perry was not born a criminal, but his horrible childhood coupled with mental illness allowed him to not feel the wrong he was doing. Dick, on the other hand, was born a criminal, and this is shown through his pedophiliac episodes and the fact he was able to be ashamed of what he was. Nurture is more important than nature because with good nurturing what nature has given somebody can be erased or made better.
Nature versus nurture is one of the most controversial debates in contemporary psychology. The debate concerning whether or not humans are born with the preset characteristics that will shape lives for years to come or whether actions are a result of the events and the environment that pave the way for our behavioral characteristics. Capote’s “In Cold Blood” gives the audience a detailed look into the upbringing of the character Perry Smith, creating a sympathetic outlook towards his past and attempting to bring a sense of understanding as to how a seemingly harmless young man could brutally murder four innocent people. In the case of Perry Smith, nurture was the cause of his actions in regards to the Clutter family murders.
However, the two murderers never took the time to find out more about the Clutter family. Once they realized there was no fortune, Dick did not mind. Dick’s motive for remaining inside the Clutter home was he knew there was a young girl living in the house. His motive was to rape the young girl, Nancy. Nonetheless, the other murderer, Perry Smith, had no motive for killing the Clutter family after realizing there was no fortune.