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. While nurture may be the primary factor in deciding why Perry did what he did, his childhood does not excuse him from being prosecuted the the full extent of the law.
Dick from In Cold Blood maintained that he was less guilty and did not deserve the death penalty. In stating this, Dick was not correct that he was less guilty. There are justifiable proofs that diminish his chances of being less guilty. These proofs are found within the book and can be represented through his demeanors and actions prior to and after the night. Richard Eugene Hickock (Dick) in In Cold Blood is just as guilty as Perry in that he had clearly displayed his intent for killing the Clutter family.
Although the author set himself the task of using the natural materials of this case to write a nonfiction novel, it is clear that the audience is given information about the murders, and murderers however, the author’s emotions are also present. Capote's tone in the novel strives to be objective, but he cannot help but let his compassion towards the criminals and the Clutter family emerge. His compassion shifts the novel in a way to pull on the heartstrings of the audience and to allow for a deeper understanding of his purpose. Many of the tones included in the book brings out the importance of the American Dream and life being a gift. The quote, “Then, touching the brim of his cap, he headed for home and the day’s work, unaware that it would be his last,” is an example of the author’s serious tone to support his purpose of how the gift of life can be taken so unexpectedly. (Capote 13) The reader receives insight of Dick’s life plans with the following quote, “After he graduated from high school—June, 1949—he wanted to go on to college. Study to be an engineer. But we couldn't do it. Never had any money ( Capote 166). This quote illustrates that Dick, being raised in a well environment, also had some faults. He could not achieve his American Dream due to lack of money that his family did not
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.
Although Dick and Perry were equally involved in the murders, Capote portrays opposing tones to provide different perspectives of the criminals; therefore, one’s opinion can become easily impressionable.
English is a fascinating and riveting language. Subtle nuances and adjustments can easily change the understanding of a literary work—a technique many authors employ in order to evoke a desired response from their readers. This method is used especially in In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, a literary work which details a true event about the murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small community of Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. Although Capote’s 1966 book was a bestseller nonfiction and had successfully garnered acclaim for its author, there is still a great deal of confusion about the distinction between the factual and fictional aspects in the book. Much
In the novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, he uses pathos, diction and tone to characterize the killers. He characterizes Dick Hickock as the main character and Perry Smith as a tag-along. Capote mainly shows sympathy towards Perry because of Perry’s messed up past and his mental instability. Capote creates this sympathy through syntax and his elaborate sentence structure with the use of specific punctuation. He also has a very unique writing style with an interesting character development. The author characterizes the two characters by using flashbacks although he sympathize Perry more than Dick, which can be seen through the long descriptions of Perry’s past compared to the few sentences given to Dick’s.
Capote described Richard Hickock as a bloodthirsty, violent person yet he did not actually kill any of the Clutters. In the beginning of the book Richard says to Perry, “Ain’t that what I promised you, honey-plenty of hair on them-those walls?” (37). This quote manipulates the reader to believe Richard remains the cruel person in the duo. Then, Capote described Perry Smith as an innocent boy who had an unpleasant childhood. Capote states,
The debate nature versus nurture is a prevalent topic in today’s society because the violence going on. People would like to know whether a criminal is born or a criminal is made. A great example of nature versus nurture is the nonfiction novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This book follows around two characters Perry Smith and Richard (Dick) Hickock. Together, they killed a small town family for forty dollars in cash. Capote tells of their lives before the killing, on the run, and when they were on death row. It is clear to the reader that Perry was not born a criminal, but his horrible childhood coupled with mental illness allowed him to not feel the wrong he was doing. Dick, on the other hand, was born a criminal, and this is shown through his pedophiliac episodes and the fact he was able to be ashamed of what he was. Nurture is more important than nature because with good nurturing what nature has given somebody can be erased or made better.
Perry Smith and Dick Hickock have both committed some horrible crimes. With very little commitment or love in Perry's childhood, this could make a child grow up cold, brittle, and rough. It could make a man tough as steel, yet as malleable as putty. With Dick it is a little different, He had loving parents and was a great student, yet as he grew so did his problems with money, alcohol, and women. Back in the city of Holcomb, Kansas before the murders made nationwide news, no one really heard of the town. This was till 1959 when the story spread faster than a wildfire. Dick and Perry should get an insanity plea in their trial. If Dick and Perry get some proactive mental health help, they can and will be able to live happy, nonviolent lives.
In the village of Holcomb, Kansas a wealthy family, the Clutters, was murdered on November 14, 1959. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith were convicted of these murders and received the death penalty. In Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood, the audience receives different viewpoints on why Dick and Perry either deserved the death penalty or not. Though the decision to sentence someone to death should be based on the truth, the truth is not always easy to define; Capote shows this through his depiction of the controversial executions of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.
Murder can be defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another”. How then, are others able to make us sympathize with not only murderers, but people who have committed horrendous crimes? For example, the media is constantly attempting to humanize rapists and even terrorists with phrases like “lone wolf” or “alienated and adrift.” Such phrases make some of us want to pity the criminal. This can be seen when we compare Perry Smith and Dick Hickock from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Capote portrays only one of these two seemingly distinct characters (Perry) in a way that the reader feels the need to relate to and even sympathize with him. One can be taken aback by such an attachment to a murderer. This is not surprising as the author uses his compassionate diction to manipulate the reader’s emotions with a use of pathos, the appeal to emotions. At one point Capote goes as far as to write that “Smith’s life had been no bed of roses,” (Capote 245) attempting to have the readers relate to Perry. On the other hand, Capote has Dick say this about himself: “Deal me out, baby, I’m a normal” (Capote 116). By using phrases such as these, Capote creates an unfavorable impression of Dick and and a biased tone. The same cannot be said for Perry as Capote produces an almost benevolent tone toward him with the help of pathos, “the most powerful appeal” (Noel, 2011).
One of the most debated topics throughout the world is nature versus nurture. When psychologists debate this topic, they are studying what influences a person’s personal development. Some say that a person’s nature influences personal development while others say a person’s nurture influences personal development. A lot of people spend time contemplating which one actually does the influencing but what some do not realize is that, perhaps, both nature and nurture help shape a person’s personal development. One topic that comes up quite often is whether or not a person is born a criminal. Today, there are proven facts that people who have parents that are criminals have a high chance of becoming criminals themselves. Not only can people become criminals because of their family but they can also become criminals because of the environment that they surround themselves in. This is where nature versus nurture comes into play.