Facts and Fiction: A Manipulation of Language in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood English is a fascinating and riveting language. Subtle nuances and adjustments can easily change the understanding of a literary work—a technique many authors employ in order to evoke a desired response from their readers. This method is used especially in In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, a literary work which details a true event about the murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small community of Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. Although Capote’s 1966 book was a bestseller nonfiction and had successfully garnered acclaim for its author, there is still a great deal of confusion about the distinction between the factual and fictional aspects in the book. Much …show more content…
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
After reading a section of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, I have come to conclusion that Truman thinks very little of the village Holcomb. “A lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.” Knowing that they consider this town as, “out there” tells me that it appears as a open field with nothing in sight. Truman uses fascinating diction to display the emptiness of this town, “The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive…” While reading, Truman can easily capture your attention with his lifelike uses of diction and imagery.
Days before they committed the murder, Dick and Perry met up and Dick made the choice of going into the Clutters’ household, invading their safe to get money and killing the Clutters. Many months later, the two men are caught in Las Vegas, put in jail for interrogation, brought back to Kansas for their verdict and then to finally be executed. While being brought back to Kansas, Perry shared with officer Duntz and Dewey what happened on the night of November 15, saying that “ He [Dick] was holding...knife to Dick” (Capote 244). This quote goes in depth of who and how the killing of the Clutter family really happened. In other words, Perry did the killing while Dick’s main goal was to question the Clutters about where the safe was, get the money and watch Perry kill the Clutters.
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.
In his crime novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote adopts calming and juxtaposing parallelism to illustrate the conflict between morality that rules the mind of Perry Smith, a murderer. Capote paints this internal conflict to be the humanizing factor of a person so cruel, that he brutally killed a family in their home, with no apparent motive. The clash of morality begins with the normality of the murders. Capote narrates as Perry and his complicit partner, Dick, prepare for the killing.
Because Dick believes the wealth of the family stems from luck, he develops an aura of jealousy towards the innocent family. Although the Clutters never did any wrong towards Dick, his jealousy fuels anger and hatred. As anger and hatred imbue Dick, he shows his criminality by taking part in the murders of the innocent family. Though Perry participates in the murders, he has a better sense of right from wrong than Dick. Perry states, “I had to get down on my knees.
A Crime Against Humanity Drugs. Murder. Prostitution. These words should never be discussed in a classroom, particularly when they will influence the audience to participate in them. Truman Capote's nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood, discusses all of these horrid issues through the chilling account of the Clutter family murder on November fifteenth, 1959.
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 doing so Capote invents a new genre of literature by telling the story through a new perspective. Capote as a writer chooses to put most of the focus of the book on the criminals, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, particularly Smith. He follows Smith’s life story, and explains that Smith was abused as a child, and the reader is to infer that as a result he seeks approval from others. This approval is what leads him to kill, and invent stories about killing, as he wants Dick to think of him as macho. Capote provides a plethora of evidence to support this reasoning, “He was seven years old, a hated, hating half-breed child living in a California orphanage run by nuns- shrouded disciplinarians who whipped him for wetting his bed,” (93).
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.
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.
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).
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. Capote’s black and white image of Holcomb is
In the novel, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote chose his words in a subjective manner. Capote inaccurately described many characters in his novel. He based his writing on his feelings and emotions rather than facts and evidence. Capote characterized Richard Hickock, Perry Smith, and Bonnie Clutter falsely. Capote described Richard Hickock as a bloodthirsty, violent person yet he did not actually kill any of the Clutters.
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.