Marxist Reading Of In Cold Blood

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With four blasts of a shotgun, a family of four, the Clutter family, were brutally murdered on November 15, 1959. Inspired by these tragic deaths, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is not solely to be looked at as a tale of a heinous crime committed by Perry Smith and Richard “Dick” Hickock, but as a tale with complex character motives that accumulated to the murder committed. The story contains a plethora of perspectives to look from, from feminist, Marxist, and psychoanalytic lenses to take on the story's complexity. Capote’s work provides deeper insights into the characters and their developments by revealing the conscious and unconscious decisions and psychological conflicts they take throughout the story, such as the actions committed by …show more content…

Dick and his accomplice both had very polarizing backgrounds. Perry grew up in a derelict home, from a poor upbringing to even fleeing with his mother and his siblings to San Francisco. After his mother proved unfit for custody after her heavy inebriation, Perry and his siblings were forced to travel around to a multitude of orphanages, facing physical and mental torture from the nuns, describing one of the events as a nun “hit me (Perry) with it. Hit me and hit me. And when the flashlight broke, she went on hitting me in the dark” (Capote 140). Due to these times and future times, two of his siblings, his brother and one of his sisters, killed themselves when they became adults, and his sole remaining sister was too afraid of him, cutting as much contact as she could. This broke Perry, leaving him in a desolate situation with no one to lean on in support. The person he would later meet that provided Perry the arms to be caught in, was Dick whom he met in jail. In almost a direct contrast, Dick had a much more comfortable upbringing. Besides living in a poor household, he had no complaints. Dick was a stellar athlete that would have gone to college if he could afford it, but his family financially declined. After his failed attempts to attend college, he started working …show more content…

Throughout the story, Dick was always short of money, from college to his score, to travel to Mexico. When the golden opportunity of the Clutter household appears to Dick with his insatiable desire for riches, he decides to take it upon himself with a soon-to-be found accomplice to rob the family’s house. Dick’s dream of an easy life if the robbery is successful saturates his mind, and his past desires fog his mind in his incessant pursuit of wealth. This can be seen as he was easily deceived in prison by his mates that the Clutters had much money, where inmates fabricated a story in which “he (Dick) and (Perry) Smith invaded the Clutter home expecting to find a safe containing at least ten thousand dollars.” (Capote 351) His incorrigible chase for money acts as revenge, not to a specific person, but to the world. His poor upbringing brought him so much anger to the world as Dick’s potential was stifled, the potential to be a college football athlete, to what he was in jail, destitute and mentally unstable. As a way for Dick to express his anger out on the world, robbing the Clutters and killing them fulfilled the ambition of expressing such anger. Dick’s other desires did not end there, as his lustful wishes were yet to be completed. Dick, from a young age, had an obsession with younger women, so when he found out

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