This colloquial diction used by Capote exemplifies the blatant lack of respect for human life that Dick has. The nonchalant attitude that Dick has about the murders is the exact difference between the two accomplices. Perry is questioning what they had done where Dick is so loose that he even makes a little joke about the events. As Perry is sugar coating the murders to help him deal with it, Dick is the exact opposite. He is cracking jokes about the murders, he is so comfortable with the fact that he had just been an accomplice in the murdering of 4 people that he is making jokes about it. Capote is showing the growing gap between the two men emotionally by describing each of their reactions while they are stopped at a picnic area in the
There are several ways in which Capote makes his favoritism of Perry evident. One of which being
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.
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. As Capote gives insight to Dick’s viscous personality, he symbolizes Perry to further display how Dick manipulates him. After Dick steps on the gas to complete his mission of murdering a dog in the road, he saw, “ahead of him, on the dusty road… a dog trotting along in the
In the beginning of the book, Capote introduces everyone to the Clutter Family, and a few pages further into the book he introduces everyone to Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. The Clutter family includes the Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their four wonderful children. The youngest are two teenagers Nancy and Kenyon, and the oldest two adult daughters known as Eveanna and Beverly. Capote describes these people as calm, loving church going, cherishable innocent people and have not done anything to hurt anyone. Capote describes Dick as an intelligent murderer. No one understands why Dick and Perry killed them, but on the other hand, he portrays Dick and Perry as the perfect murderers knowing how to get away with it. Dick is motivated by carnal impulses and he is the mastermind and investigator to the murders, he isn’t very educated but he is street-wise and charming. Perry on the other hand grew up with difficult circumstances, he was abandoned
Truman Capote, in his non-fiction journalistic narrative, gives readers the opportunity to reconsider the dichotomy of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’. Capote also suggests true normality differs from society’s concept of normality. The concept of normality is challenged throughout the entirety of ‘In Cold Blood’, first in the Clutter family, then in Dick and Perry and in sexuality throughout the text. The Clutters, a seemingly ‘normal’ family who have obtained a wealthy and successful life, are polite and hardworking, community-driven and respected. 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”. Sexuality between Dick and Perry is explored as well as Perry and Dick’s individual sexualities.
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
Dick says to Andrews, “The trouble with you, Andy, you’ve got no respect for human life. Including your own.” (318). The description of Lowell Lee Andrews insane and ruthless character, make him a memorable secondary character. The technique Truman Capote use to characterize the killers is using the opinions and encounters of their families and the people they have met. Capote uses back stories and childhood memories to show Dick and Perry’s character. During Perry’s evaluation with Dr. Jones, Perry says, “My mother was always drunk, never in a fit condition to properly provide and care for us. I run as free & wild as a coyote. There was no rule or discipline, or anyone showing me right from
From the beginning of the novel, Capote showcases Perry Smith a likable character. 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
This quote shows that Dick is longing to forget about the murders and move on with his life. Capote uses words like " Why the hell couldn't Perry shut up" and "He was Annoyed.. Annoyed as hell" to show Dick his antagonistic attitude towards Perry's level of concern. Though he secretly feels guilty about what happened, he wishes that Perry would stop bringing it up since that makes it harder for him to forget about the horrific event. With this quote Capote's is trying to reveal that Dick thought of Perry as paranoid and over dramatic. For example, " Unlike Perry, he was not convinced that a broken mirror meant seven years' misfortune, or that a
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). 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
The debate nature versus nurture is a prevalent topic in today’s society because the violence going on. People would like to know whether a criminal is born or a criminal is made. A great example of nature versus nurture is the nonfiction novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This book follows around two characters Perry Smith and Richard (Dick) Hickock. 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.
By utilizing amplification when describing the jury present at Dick and Perry’s murder trial, Capote is able to reveal the jury’s dangerous bias against the two. It consisted of “half a dozen farmers, a pharmacist, a nursery manager, an airport employee, a well driller, two salesmen, a machinist, and the manager of Ray’s Bowling Alley. They were all family men (several had five children or more) and were seriously affiliated with one or another of the local churches” (Capote 273). Elongating the
After most people hear what Perry has gone through you immediately give him a get out of jail free card right? You think that since he had a difficult upbringing he should be exempt from receiving the death penalty? Although you may think this, this is certainly not an excuse for such a violent act. Throughout In Cold Blood, Capote attempts to portray to the reader that Smith in a way should be exempt from the crime he commited and how one should not blame it on Smith himself, but his psychological background. Specifically when Al Dewey, the head of the Clutter murder investigation, states how the crime was not in fact Smiths fault. Dewey says, “The crime was a psychological accident, virtually an impersonal act; the victims might as well have been killed by lightning. Except for one thing: they had experienced prolonged terror, they had suffered. And Dewey could not forget their sufferings. Nonetheless, he found it possible to look at the man beside him without anger—with, rather, a measure of sympathy—for Perry Smith’s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful, an ugly and lonely progress toward one mirage or another.” Capote is attempting to show the audience how one should feel
He presents all the events by way of an anonymous narrator who reveals all the events from a detached viewpoint. Through Part II the killers are presented more sympathetically. For instance, Capote tells the reader about the hard life Perry Smith has had throughout the book. Perry lived at different orphanages and Salvation Army homes. One nurse would even “fill a tub up of ice cold water, put [Perry] in it, and hold [him] under till [he] was blue.”(128). Capote quickly describes the murder in Part I yet a majority of the novel is constructed upon the lives of those murderers. Capote was basically a lead investigator in this murder, as he was doing research from the start. As the book progressed, so did the sympathy for Dick and Perry. That progression by Capote led to the skewing of facts, which was enough to change the book to a fiction