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.
Murder can be defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another”. How then, are others able to make us sympathize with not only murderers, but people who have committed horrendous crimes? For example, the media is constantly attempting to humanize rapists and even terrorists with phrases like “lone wolf” or “alienated and adrift.” Such phrases make some of us want to pity the criminal. This can be seen when we compare Perry Smith and Dick Hickock from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. 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). By using phrases such as these, Capote creates an unfavorable impression of Dick and and a biased tone. The same cannot be said for Perry as Capote produces an almost benevolent tone toward him with the help of pathos, “the most powerful appeal” (Noel, 2011).
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.
In Cold Blood Rhetorical Analysis Typically upon hearing about a murder, especially a brutal and unwarranted one, we find ourselves feeling a great sense of disgust for the murderer or murderers who committed these crimes; however, in Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood, the lives and experiences of the murderers, particularly Perry Smith, are displayed in a way the makes you feel pity for him as well as the victims. When comparing Capote’s Novel to a typical news article on a similar topic it is easy to see the that Capote's style varies from typical journalism. An article written by Frances Robles and Nikita Stewart titled “Dylan Roof’s Past Reveals Trouble at Home and School,” discusses the childhood and background of Dylann Roof, a twenty-one
In Cold Blood It all started on the night of November 14, 1959, when two young men came to Holcomb, Kansas. They first came to rob the Clutters, but when finding there was not ten thousand dollars in the house like they were told, they thoughtlessly killed all four of them, for only forty bucks and a little radio. The men were finally caught, but forced to stand on trial with people who already want the two men dead, which puts the town in favor of capital punishment, before the trial had even started. The two young men, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, were sentenced to the death penalty. The book In Cold Blood, I believe, is for the capital punishment.
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
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”.
Although Dick were partners in the murder of the Clutter family, Capote primarily wants to reveal the emotional gap between Dick and Perry; therefore, Capote’s depicts Perry as more sentimental than Dick. When Perry and Dick were stopped at the picnic area in the mountains Capote uses euphemism when Dick and Perry are in a discussion about the murder. “I think there must be something wrong with us. To do what we did” (Capote 108).
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.
Passage 2: Page 28-30 Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood challenges the conventional boundaries of the true crime genre and plumbs the psychological and emotional depths of the Clutter family murders. Capote’s masterpiece incorporates diction to create a sympathetic tone and juxtapose the brutality of the murders in which he foreshadows. The included descriptions of Bonnie Clutter evokes sadness or pity from the reader.
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.
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
Located in a “lonesome area,” the town did not have much to see. All of the local buildings were falling apart; with their chipping paint and “dirty windows” and “irrelevant signs.” The citizens of the dreary town were nice people, everyone knew everyone, and they spoke to each other in an accent "barbed with prairie twang.” The description of this town makes it sound very dull and boring, doesn’t it? Yes. Some of these phrases are used by Truman Capote in his introduction to In Cold Blood. Capote describes the small town of Holcomb, Kansas in this way while using imagery, specific details, and brilliant word choice to take us into the town and experience the story rather than read it.