There has been a longstanding debate between nature and nurture in psychology for decades. An examination of whether an individual's traits and behaviors are influenced by their genetics or their surrounding environment. There is a particular relevance to this debate for Dick and Perry in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood", where their backgrounds and life experiences significantly affect their personalities and actions. In the case of Dick and Perry, their upbringing and environment had a profound impact on their actions and ultimately led to their descent into criminality. At the same time, certain aspects of their personalities and character traits are inherent, which may have also contributed to their behavior. Through the examination of nature and nurture, the characters of Dick and Perry become complex and multifaceted, offering a deeper understanding of their motivations and actions in "In Cold Blood." Nature, or inherent qualities and traits, plays a significant role in shaping the characters of Dick and Perry in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood." …show more content…
Perry, on the other hand, is portrayed as more sensitive, artistic, and introspective, with a troubled childhood that left him scarred both physically and emotionally. These inherent personality traits play a crucial role in the events that unfold throughout the novel. For example, Dick's lack of empathy and tendency towards violence led him to commit the brutal murders. Perry's introspective nature and sensitivity make him more vulnerable to feelings of guilt and remorse. By examining the defining traits of these characters, we can gain a deeper understanding of the motivations behind their actions and the impact they have on the
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The aspects that create a personality are built up upon two main guidances: family influence at a young age and inner conflicts. Balancing on a thin thread of neuro-normality and insanity, a personality is subjected to treatment that affects the individual’s view of life and the people around them. In the case of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, there were two main characters that displayed these aspects with much adversity: Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Both beginning from contrasting backgrounds and family homes, they miraculously ended up in equal situations: being caught committing a heinous murder that has been declared as one of the worst serial killings in Kansas history during the early 1960s. Therefore, Perry and Dick’s similar situations must be due to their innate psychological
In the fourth section of In Cold Blood, Capote argues that Perry is a cold blooded killer and Dick is just as guilty. Capote describes Perry as “very high” on the night of the murder. By the time he was in jail, Capote referred to him as “unusually troubled” and “lost”. When Perry admitted to the murder of the four Clutter’s, his reasoning was to spare Mrs. Hickock’s feelings, not to tell the truth. Perry’s background makes him seem damaged and “changed”, as he experienced various problems in adolescence; his “psychotic” ways are even thought to be true by a psychiatrist in court.
And most of the memories it released were unwanted, though not all” (130) I believe this to be the most relevant passage for Perry because it shows that he is not complexly emotionless as his murders would have the reader believe. The title of the novel, “In Cold Blood,” and the emotionless way Perry and Dick carry out their lives after killing the Clutter family make the murders seem without reason and lacking emotions. However, once the reader, and Perry, read the letter Perry’s father wrote to the Kansas State Patrol Board, Perry says this line. Perry is “racing” with emotions, which proves that he does and can care about certain parts if his life, he just does not feel emotion when it comes to ended innocent lives.
Some people might say people inherit traits from their parents, and some say they learn them based on an upbringing, but In Truman Capote’s account of the brutal murders of the clutter family in In Cold Blood, he uses the argument of Nature vs. Nurture to further explain the life behind murderer, Perry Smith. After hearing the accounts of the brutal murders, Capote goes on to explain the story behind both Perry and Dick’s lives, But Perry’s childhood stands out more. After being abandoned, beaten, and left to survive alone, Perry’s cards were stacked against him. By showing the complexity of criminals, Capote uses Perry to show the example of a non-nurturing childhood creating a person capable of murder.
Perry “It starts at home”(Alaina Thomas). Most murderers come from broken homes, some hardly have a place to call home. Perry Smith, a character from the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, was one of those people. Throughout the story it is evident that pieces of his childhood reflected on his behavior later on. It is possible if not factual that if Perry had been raised differently, the Clutter family would not have been murdered.
Throughout the book "In Cold Blood," the characters of Dick and Perry undergo significant changes. At the beginning of the book, they are portrayed as cold-blooded killers who show little remorse for their actions. However, as the story progresses, we see a more complex side to their personalities. One of the most significant changes in the characters of Dick and Perry is their relationship with each other.
Although Capote exhibits Perry’s impulsive and heinous actions are due to his internal struggle, his ultimate goal is to illustrate Perry as a ruthless, manipulative murderer; therefore, he asserts that even the most monstrous of people can captivate compassion from others because of the diverse layers of their personality. To begin, Capote uses a paradox to highlight Perry’s internal struggle that lead him to doing such atrocities. Throughout the novel, Capote reveals to readers that Perry had a hard life growing up and most everyone in his family committed suicide, besides his only surviving sibling, Barbara. While Capote is talking about Perry’s family, he says, “They shared a doom against which virtue was no defense" (Capote 185).
Perry Smith, for instance, is shown as a sensitive and creative young man who adores music and literature, yet he is also capable of carrying out horrible acts of violence. Similar to the Clutter family, who are ultimately the victims of a senseless and terrible crime despite being hailed as models of respectability and decency for the middle class. Overall, "In Cold Blood" makes use of irony to highlight the random and frequently arbitrary nature of crime and bloodshed and to comment on the capacity of humans for both good and
Perry’s erratic spontaneous outbursts is what caused him to go through with the murders and slit Mr. Clutter’s throat which put him on the killing frenzy that ended the rest of the Clutters lives. Capote highlights Perry’s sociopathic tendencies by comparing them to that of Dicks Psychopathic tendencies which exemplifies how when put together they are at each others fault for the
Though it appears the author’s intent was to create an objective chronicle of both Dick and Perry, much of In Cold Blood’s fascination embodies an analysis of complementary and polar personalities. Capote indubitably relates to Perry presumably due to the fact that he recognizes him as a diminutive derelict with an embellished vocabulary. Smith, for example, had “two thick notebooks,...which constituted his personal dictionary… (Sample Page; ‘Thanatoid = deathlike; Nescient = ignorance…’)” (Capote 90).
Nature versus nurture is one of the most controversial debates in contemporary psychology. The debate concerning whether or not humans are born with the preset characteristics that will shape lives for years to come or whether actions are a result of the events and the environment that pave the way for our behavioral characteristics. Capote’s “In Cold Blood” gives the audience a detailed look into the upbringing of the character Perry Smith, creating a sympathetic outlook towards his past and attempting to bring a sense of understanding as to how a seemingly harmless young man could brutally murder four innocent people. In the case of Perry Smith, nurture was the cause of his actions in regards to the Clutter family murders.
Merging journalistic and literary storytelling with its unparalleled insight into the nature of criminality in twentieth century American culture, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote’s nonfiction masterpiece epitomizes the loss of naiveté of a small Kansas town, while it undermines the principle ideals of the American Dream——safety, security, and opportunity for prosperity and individualism——through the victimization of the achievers of this mythical, yet idealized belief, such as the Clutter family. Through the portrayal of the tragic ends of three different families (the Clutters, the Hickocks, and the Smiths) regardless of their position on the path to the American Dream, Capote shatters the popular image of perfection that most Americans strove
While Perry is mortified that he and Dick could commit such a gruesome crime, Dick couldn’t care less. All Dick is worried about is how odd Perry is. Because of how quick Perry’s mood could change, Dick thought he was “spooky as hell.” Now, Perry wasn’t your average run of the mill man. He still wets the bed, cries in his sleep, and “could slide into a fury ‘quicker than ten drunk Indians’”.
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.
No matter how we try to change our situation or better ourselves in society, variables will obstruct the path we choose. One cannot take control of everything that surrounds us as fate decides what happens to us. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote explains the murder of the Clutter family in the quiet town of Holcomb, Kansas. The murderers, Richard (Dick) Hickock and Perry Smith, try to escape the consequences of their actions, believing that they can get away with what they did. The story tells what the murderers were thinking after and before they committed the crime and their various interactions.