‘In Cold Blood’ demonstrates that compassion must be extended to both victims and their killers’ Discuss Truman Capote, through his celebrated nonfiction work ‘In Cold Blood’ depicts the events preceding and following the brutal murder of the prominent Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, 1959. The text clearly emphasizes that compassion must be extended to all victims of the violent crime. The term ‘victim’ is not exclusively reserved for the murdered but is extended to the family, friends and the entire community of Holcomb. To a lesser extent, Capote demonstrates that compassion should be shown to one of the killers. Capote challenges the reader to become compassionate towards Perry Edward Smith, despite knowing he murdered four innocent
To Kill a Mocking Bird is told from the perspective of a little girl named Scout. She lives with her father Atticus, her brother Jem and their maid Calpurnia. In her novel, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee foreshadows a loss of innocence through the symbolic significance of a snowman, fire and camellia flowers. To begin, the symbolism of the snowman foreshadows the trial and how they converse when constructing it. “Jem, I ain’t never heard of a nigger snowman”, I said.
To Kill a Mockingbird When you think of innocence do you think of a mockingbird? Well, in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee foreshadows the loss of innocence through her symbolic significance of the Snowman, Mad dog, and the Mockingbird itself. First, Harper Lee uses the Snowman to foreshadow the loss of innocence. The Snowman was built out of mud and snow by two innocent children, Jem and Scout. Scout says, “Jem I ain’t ever heard of a nigger snowman” (89).
Everybody could say the same thing, but each person could mean something totally different by it. It is the same way with a song or work of writing can mean many different things. Sometimes, the different meanings are intentional, but others, it is something discovered by an outsider. For example, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird uses the mockingbird to symbolize innocence.
People judge each other based on how they act in society. One tends to act like the majority of society for fear of being outcasted. This pertains to a mockingbird because it only sings other birds’ songs. It doesn’t have it’s own song and it is only characterized by what the other birds sing. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird,by Harper Lee, the title serves as a metaphor for the killing of innocence.
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy…but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." The title To a Kill Mockingbird means to destroy someone’s innocence. In Harper Lee’s To Kill Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is a white lawyer who decides to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a white woman.
“I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”(page 119) In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the mockingbird is one of the most symbolic objects in the novel. It represents the innocence of someone not affected by the evilness of society. In the novel, there are three people, or mockingbirds, that are innocent affected by society.
Mockingbirds: Emblems of innocence in To Kill A Mockingbird There are many mockingbirds in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The image of mockingbirds represent many people in the story and how many people take advantage of them for their own benefits. Scout, a young girl who lives in Maycomb is the story’s protagonist. She lives with her brother and father and occasionally meets Calpurnia their cook. For instance, Tom Robinson and Calpurnia are treated differently because of their skin color, however they are very close to the Finch family.
Although, Holcomb is written as a picture-esque mid-west utopia in the first chapter of In Cold Blood, Capote uses personification, parallelism, and the inclusion of first hand accounts, to describe its shift from a neighborly society to one of locked doors in order to comment on how one event can completely alter a locations image. Through the use of personification, Capote describes the disillusion in the townspeople of Holcomb, product of the murder of the Clutter family. Capote writes that locks and bolts are the most popular item in a Garden City hardware store, and that the people disregarded brand identity just to have the security of the ownership of a lock. Capote latter writes, “Imagination, of course, can open any door - turn the key and let terror walk right in” (Capote 88), to show how paranoia has consumed the townsfolk are by expressing the false sense of security that a door lock provides. The use of “imagination can open any door”, implies that if someone needed to get through a locked door,
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
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).
Throughout the book, Perry is genuinely the cold-blooded killer, and the reader 's view him that way. While in interrogation, Dick confessed that “ Perry Smith killed the Clutters... It was Perry” (Capote 230). At this point, the audience doesn’t know if they believe that Perry killed all four or if Perry killed two and Dick killed two. While talking in the interrogation room, Dewey mentioned to Perry that “Hickock [thought of Perry as] a natural born killer.
“Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it” (James Arthur Baldwin). This quote perfectly reflects on the issue of loss of innocence, as did the author of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, who was able to examine this as well as the growth of character within the protagonist of the novel: Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. There are several characters who help change Scout’s thinking, such as her father, Atticus Finch, her family’s maid, Calpurnia, and her friend, Maudie Atkinson. It can be reasoned that the journey from innocence to understanding for Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, is guided by the lessons taught to her by the closest people in her life.