It’s a Hard-Knock Life for Perry Smith Loyola University psychologist James Garbarino once said, “Most of these killers are best understood as untreated, traumatized children who inhabit and control the minds, hearts, and bodies of adult men.” This quote relates to Truman Capote’s most complex character, Perry Smith, in the novel, In Cold Blood, as he did not have a very great childhood. As a child, he has witnessed constant violence and he was neglected multiple times. When Perry was young, he witnessed his father brutally abuse his mother which ultimately led to his parent’s divorce. Also, throughout his childhood, Perry ended up in a series of orphanages and Salvation Army homes because of his mother’s drinking problem. He was only able to pass third grade as a child because he and his father moved around so much, but as an adult he has a lot of interest in education. By this time, the psychological damage has been …show more content…
When he was younger, he and his father moved around a lot. This did not allow him to go to school like others. “I finished the third grade.” Perry recalled, “Which was the finish” (Capote 132). Perry believed that if he was educated, he could have been something big, such as a contender. He really realized the importance of education when a recruiter had to fake his test results to get him in the army. He thought that he had a lot of talent and a brilliant mind, but his father did not want him to be intelligent as shown when he says, “I happen to have a brilliant mind. In case you don't know. A brilliant mind and talent plus. But no education, because he didn't want me to learn anything, only how to tote and carry for him. Dumb. Ignorant. That's the way he wanted me to be” (Capote 185). Perry wished to have the education that Dick took advantage of. Because he was not educated, he was not respected at all. Due to being uneducated, Perry acted differently than educated
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The aspects that create a personality are built up upon two main guidances: family influence at a young age and inner conflicts. Balancing on a thin thread of neuro-normality and insanity, a personality is subjected to treatment that affects the individual’s view of life and the people around them. In the case of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, there were two main characters that displayed these aspects with much adversity: Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Both beginning from contrasting backgrounds and family homes, they miraculously ended up in equal situations: being caught committing a heinous murder that has been declared as one of the worst serial killings in Kansas history during the early 1960s. Therefore, Perry and Dick’s similar situations must be due to their innate psychological
Throughout In Cold Blood, a true-crime novel based on a multiple murder, author Truman Capote gives a more personal insight on the topic while standing up for the mentally ill and verbalizing his personal beliefs on how the they should be treated and viewed in the criminal justice system. Within In Cold Blood, Capote tells about the events leading up to the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers. During the trial, both of the criminals were declared mentally ill, but were still authorized to stand trial and execution as they had been proven to have the ability to decide between right and wrong, and therefore were considered mentally
In the fourth section of In Cold Blood, Capote argues that Perry is a cold blooded killer and Dick is just as guilty. Capote describes Perry as “very high” on the night of the murder. By the time he was in jail, Capote referred to him as “unusually troubled” and “lost”. When Perry admitted to the murder of the four Clutter’s, his reasoning was to spare Mrs. Hickock’s feelings, not to tell the truth. Perry’s background makes him seem damaged and “changed”, as he experienced various problems in adolescence; his “psychotic” ways are even thought to be true by a psychiatrist in court.
Some evidence for this is that he says “so what 's wrong with hitting the back streets.” One literary device that I found was that he said “I ain 't the sharpest tool in the shed.” That means that he isn 't the smartest person and is under average for IQ and not that smart. Another literary device that I found was he said “well the years start coming and they don 't stop
The first reason that supports my theory is he gets a taste of what smart is. What I mean is that he may of not been quick-witted forever, but he learned a lot. He learned to speak different languages he becomes smarter than Dr.Nemur and Dr. Strauss combined.
Although Perry continues the horrendous deed, he feels abomination towards himself and the crime he commits. Because Perry feels repugnance for his actions, his morality reveals itself and shows his true character. Before Dick and Perry commit the murder, they have no pervious relation with the Clutter family. Truman pens, “The crime was a psychological accident, virtually an impersonal act; the victims might as well have been killed by lightning” (245). Because the Clutter family was chosen at random, the pernicious violence of Dick and Perry debuts.
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
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
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.
Children depend on their parents, especially for support, and that is exactly what Rudy’s family was not giving him. Although Rudy did not approve of his family’s opinions, he still treated their opinion respectfully because it mattered to him. Another opinion that also mattered to Rudy was the opinion of his teacher. Rudy’s teacher as well did not believe in him. When Rudy tried to get on the bus that was bringing the children to the Notre dame college, his teacher stopped him.
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.
While Dick’s attempt to profit from Perry originates from a lie that Perry creates in order to gain Dick’s respect, the language that Capote uses to illustrate Dick’s exploitation does not leave room for excuses or sympathy. The tone indicates Dick has malicious intention in befriending Perry, which gives the readers a cynical impression of him. Furthermore, Dick is seen to be disregarding of the gravity of his crimes, especially as he replies to Perry’s comment, “I think there must be something wrong with us" (Capote 114) to commit the murder like they did, in which Dick replies, “Deal me out, baby, I'm a normal,” and continues to entertain the thought, “ But Perry—there
No matter how we try to change our situation or better ourselves in society, variables will obstruct the path we choose. One cannot take control of everything that surrounds us as fate decides what happens to us. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote explains the murder of the Clutter family in the quiet town of Holcomb, Kansas. The murderers, Richard (Dick) Hickock and Perry Smith, try to escape the consequences of their actions, believing that they can get away with what they did. The story tells what the murderers were thinking after and before they committed the crime and their various interactions.
Mr. Perry had high expectations for his son. The only way to get Mr. Perry to stop controlling Neil’s life was by suicide, this way Neil controlled his life and stood up to his father (See). After the play and confrontation with his father, Neil felt hopeless. Was this how his life was going to proceed, his father controlling his every move? Neil took matters into his own hands and realized there was no other way.