It’s a Hard-Knock Life for Perry Smith Loyola University psychologist James Garbarino once said, “Most of these killers are best understood as untreated, traumatized children who inhabit and control the minds, hearts, and bodies of adult men.” This quote relates to Truman Capote’s most complex character, Perry Smith, in the novel, In Cold Blood, as he did not have a very great childhood. As a child, he has witnessed constant violence and he was neglected multiple times. When Perry was young, he witnessed his father brutally abuse his mother which ultimately led to his parent’s divorce. Also, throughout his childhood, Perry ended up in a series of orphanages and Salvation Army homes because of his mother’s drinking problem. He was only able to pass third grade as a child because he and his father moved around so much, but as an adult he has a lot of interest in education.
Everyone is born with the capability to do evil, however, the events and environment in our lives shape our psyche to such an irrefutably extreme extent that they define our character and our conscience, redefining what we see as right and wrong. Perry is very sensitive by nature due to his family’s troubles and his father’s behavior. The pressure that Perry feels to impress Dick, who he makes into a faux father figure, combined with the weight of his past push him to the breaking point which happens to be the Clutter murders. Perry was bound by his experience, he could never fully escape the horrors of his childhood as they were the limits of his apprehension. Regardless of Perry’s traumatic childhood, justice must be equally upheld to everyone, despite the differences in the ways we were raised.
Celie's father (Pa), is not only verbally abusive, but also physically abusive, “He beat me for dressing trampy but he do it to me anyway.” (6). Pa beat Celie for the way that she dressed, but he also beat her for no reason at all. During this time in history, it was very common to beat your children or your wife, even though it was made illegal in 1920. Physical abuse is seen throughout the novel and is inflicted on Celie by both her father and husband Mr._____. In 2018, physical abuse is “hidden”, but it is present in such large numbers especially in children, “Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect… Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies…” (childhelp).
He appears to have been a very wicked and incorrigible person. Specially, he violated the Massachusetts law 1646 by carrying himself as a stubborn and rebellious son; he did not listen to the voice of his natural parents “who are persons of good repute for piety, honesty, and estate”. He had committed many crimes such as using unacceptable words to call his parents, frequently threatening to burn his father's house, killing his cattle and horse, busing and beating his father’s servants imperiling one’s life, etc. However, his parents still accepted his behavior, loving him with an excessive indulgence which made him, unable to be improved person, become more cruel. He was finally punished to stand on the ladder of the gallows with a rope around his neck for an hour.
Also, in the book The Outsiders, there is a similar character in the book like Desi, Johnny, but instead of Johnny’s parents getting harassed, he gets harrassed by his parents. This shows that Johnny joined the gang for the protection of himself, but, as stated before, the gang would have to fight others to protect Johnny. The last explanation on why gangs fight is because of the continuous cycle of violence. The cycle of violence is an explanation of how violence can cause more violence, and the article Rest in Peace Doc states an example of the cycle of violence. It declared that after one of the Ventures had been shot, he fought with all his strength to get as many shots as he could with his own gun on the other shooter.
His childhood was full of murder and corruption. It caused Ishmael to become violent and unstable. A childhood without innocence can be a terrible time. Ishmael’s childhood was the civil war of his country. Although experience in war is different for everyone, being in war with the same circumstances as Ishmael would be similar because separating from family causes emotional instability and it would be different because Ishmael has a healthy body.
Bob Ewell has beaten Mayella and he still does. She has grown up in a with a very coarse and rough life. Her whole family is poor and uneducated, they don’t know simple skills that you learn in school. She was forced into going into court against Tom Robinson for a rape that never happened. Even though she did a horrible thing, accusing an innocent man of rape and getting him killed, she did it because she was scared.
Finally perry’s parents split, which can also to lead to problems in children's lives, he travels with his mother and siblings to san Francisco where he constantly gets in trouble to which he blames it on having, “no rule or discipline, or anyone to show me right from wrong" (54). He ended up in a series of orphanages where he was severely beat and traumatized for wetting the bed. One nun at the orphanage would “ fill a tub with ice cold water, put me in it, and hold me under until I was blue.” Capote intends to provoke the audience's sympathy for Perry by including his terrible childhood experiences to explain his violent manner as well as provide reasoning to commit the crime he did. Perry has many examples of how his brutal life experiences cause his violent behavior. Perry has many sociopathic characteristics including, lack of moral responsibility or social conscience, erratic behavior, rage and anger, ability form a particular relationship to one person, crimes are usually spontaneous.
Troy states that his father was greedy and would put his own personal needs above the needs of the family. This, in turn, caused Troy 's mother to abandon him, leaving him without love from a parent or anyone to show him the correct way to treat females, a sin that affects his relationship with Rose as an adult. His father 's treatment of Troy made Troy believe there was more to his suffering than what was humanly possible "The gal jumped and run off...and when my daddy turned to face me, I could see why the devil had never come to get him...cause he was the devil himself"(Wilson 52).This metaphor used by Troy, adds a certain weight to the gravity of his situation as a teen. His father wasn 't just cruel but was the devil, a symbol of pure hate and all evil. The way Troy 's father treated him would cause Troy to run away at a young age and would be forced to steal and rob.
Nwoye has two step mothers and seven siblings. When Nwoye was a child, he was always compared to his grandfather Unoka, who was seen as a failure throughout the village. His father constantly beat him because of his laziness. Okonkwo always pushed him to be someone he is not. Due to his constant beatings, Nwoye started developing a sad faced youth.