In Cold Blood Mental Illness

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Truman Capote’s novel, In Cold Blood, depicts his extensive research and interviews conducted regarding the murder of a successful farmer and his family from Holcomb, Kansas. Capote’s rigorous research twisted into an obsession as he dedicated nearly six years to studying every miniscule aspects of the Capote-killer's mentality in hopes to provide a contrary point of view of the murders’ intimate lives . Through this, Capote sways the reader to sympathize with Perry because of his troubled past. Capote wants the reader to see and understand that Perry’s upbringing influenced his mental state during the time of the murder, and he stresses to the reader to comprehend the flaws in the judicial system and for society to see how people who suffer …show more content…

He writes about how Perry and Dick’s and other defendant's cases are often overlooked and not taken into account when evaluating the verdict and punishments. Capote stresses this to the reader by mentioning a direct statement from Dr. Jones, “Perry Smith shows definite signs of severe mental… Two features in his personality make-up stand out as particularly pathological. The first is his ‘paranoid’ orientation toward the world.. his ability to separate the real situation from his own mental projections is very poor” (296-297). His objective in mentioning this was to again show that Perry suffered from a mental disease that altered his judgement but as well as to show that all the evidence provided to the court regarding that was …show more content…

Capote shows this by noting Mr. Hickock addressing one of the journalist on the case saying “The judge up there! I never seen a man more prejudice. Just no sense in having a trial. Not with him in charge. Why, that man was pallbearer at the funeral!”(255). Capote mentions Mr. Hickock’s anger for the unfair trial they are receiving because of all the missed information that was failed to be contributed during the trial and that the Judge would not rule insanity for both men. In doing this he wants the people to realize that the judicial system is very faulty. Most of the court's decisions and verdicts are from people appointed at random whose views can be overridingly biased. These decisions made by the court can result in punishing people like perry smith, who are mentally unstable and ill, to be punished by death or imprisonment rather than to be helped or given proper

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