Perry Smith's Role In Divorce

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“What is punishment? Being in jail isn't punishment, if you didn't like it on the outside. And neither is death, if it was painful to live.” (Infamous). Perry Smith was not fond of his life at all. He endured numerous hardships at a young age that even many adults would not experience. Being in and out of prison messed with Perry’s mind, and not for the better. He was a very frustrated person because of his attraction towards males during a time where being gay was almost taboo. Other factors also turned Perry into the complex, murderous man that he was. Without parents to show him right and wrong, he was already set up for failures as an adult. Childhood abuse scarred Perry for his life. To add to that, traumatic events that occurred throughout…show more content…
Most people assume that the couple pursuing the divorce react the worst to it. The fact is, the child is also put under a great amount of stress during the separation. Witnessing a divorce can break the trust between a child and the parents. This is especially true in Perry’s case when his mother and father split up. He did not confide with his mother when she won custody of Perry over his father. Perry eventually ran away from the house he lived in with his mother. He ran away to his father, who initially rejected him but later took him in. Perry later served a five to twelve year sentence at the Kansas State Penitentiary for breaking and entering. The Kansas State Penitentiary was where Perry and Richard “Dick” Hickock first met. Almost immediately Perry became fond of Dick. Dick and Perry quickly appealed to each other. Perry was very territorial over Dick and maybe even in love with him. This attraction spiralled out of control when Perry found out that Dick wanted to rape Nancy Clutter, one of the murder victims. Imagining Dick with another human being caused Perry to turn delirious. Perry became so enraged that he shot all four members of the Clutter family dead. The love that Perry felt for Dick was like being high on cocaine; the high only lasted for a short period, but the consequences were abiding. At one point in the novel, Perry compares Dick’s voice to a drug, “The sound of Dick’s voice was like an
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