Although Capote conveys the Clutters as a simple mid western family, his primary purpose was to display how pivotal the Clutters were to the flow and function of Holcomb’s community, therefore; Capote asserts that everything in life is a chain reaction, nothing just affects one individual.
Although Dick were partners in the murder of the Clutter family, Capote primarily wants to reveal the emotional gap between Dick and Perry; therefore, Capote’s depicts Perry as more sentimental than Dick.
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).
In Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” Dick and Perry have murdered the Clutter family and are on their way to Mexico. In this passage, Dick makes an astounding statement.
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.
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. As Capote gives insight to Dick’s viscous personality, he symbolizes Perry to further display how Dick manipulates him. After Dick steps on the gas to complete his mission of murdering a dog in the road, he saw, “ahead of him, on the dusty road… a dog trotting along in the
From the beginning of the novel, Capote showcases Perry Smith a likable character. Although he ended up being one of the murderers of the Clutter family, the readers often felt sorry for him. In the beginning of the novel the reader finds out that Perry was actually very nervous about committing the crime, he and Dick were on the road to do. Capote made it seem like Perry
Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote hints at his own opinion of the death penalty, yet lets the readers decide for themselves what they believe Hickock and Smith's punishment should have been. When the murderers are being hanged, a conversation occurs between a reporter and an investigator about what it might feel like to be hanged: "'They don't feel nothing. Drop, snap, and that's it. They don't feel nothing.' 'Are you sure? I was standing right close. I could hear him gasping for breath.' 'Uh-huh, but he don't feel nothing. Wouldn't be humane if he did'" (340). Furthermore, Capote includes the amount of time before Lowell Lee Andrews and Dick Hickock died. From the time of hanging to the time their hearts ceased beating, it took nineteen and twenty minutes, respectively. Also, in preparation for the trial of the Clutter family murderers, doctors did psychiatric evaluations of the pair. Capote includes what the doctors would have said had they been allowed to elucidate during the trial. The evaluations suggest that Hickock and Smith might have been better off in a mental institution. By including the conversation at the hangings, the elapsed time before death, and the doctors' unspoken evaluation, Capote suggests that neither the death penalty nor hanging is always the best course of action for a person's crime. Contrastingly, the opposite opinion is revealed through the character Alvin Dewey in the book. Capote writes about Dewey’s beliefs on the case: “[The Clutter family] had experienced prolonged terror, they had suffered. And Dewey
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
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). While Dick’s attempt to profit from Perry originates from a lie that Perry creates in order to gain Dick’s respect, the language that Capote uses to illustrate Dick’s exploitation does not leave room for excuses or sympathy. The tone indicates Dick has malicious intention in befriending Perry, which gives the readers a cynical impression of him. Furthermore, Dick is seen to be disregarding of the gravity of his crimes, especially as he replies to Perry’s comment, “I think there must be something wrong with us" (Capote 114) to commit the murder like they did, in which Dick replies, “Deal me out, baby, I'm a normal,” and continues to entertain the thought, “But Perry—there
Everybody has desires that constantly weigh over their heads, pushing them to be diligent in all their endeavors, but what would you do if you knew that one day you would no longer have the opportunity to fulfill these desires? Everybody lives their lives so focused on the end goal that they are oblivious to the world around them, and the sad part is that in some cases the end goal is unattainable or never reached because the person dies. In In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes symbolism and descriptive diction to tell his readers Perry’s wants and wishes. Throughout this subchapter the reader is able to learn more about how Perry feels in the moments after the Clutter family murder. The reader learns that Perry wishes he was loved by others
In his book, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes several rhetorical devices and strategies in pages 246-248 in order to establish a theme for the fourth section of the book, The Corner, and in order to properly end the third section, The Answer. Capote uses metaphor, diction, and tone shift in order to provide a comparison for Dick and Perry, to most effectively transition into the last section of the book, and to establish a grim and dismal mood.
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.
In the gripping novel In Cold Blood, the protagonist, Perry Edward Smith, is depicted as a good-spirited person, who is strongly influenced by the people who are the closest to him. Those three people are his father, his mother, and his partner in crime Dick Hickock. His father denies him of an education and treats him like a slave. His mother never loves him and never shows him how to love others. And Dick, takes control of Perry’s vulnerability and leads him into doing awful things. Each of those relationships impact him negatively, and in the end, lead him to murder an innocent family and lose his life because of it.
This Quote represents Insanity (Sociopathy) because it shows both Perry’s killer natural way of thinking and it also shows Dick’s colossal use of them to get what he desires. Dick suffers brain damage he received from a concussion and Perry has paranoid schizophrenia . This could possibly contribute to their questionable mental state of mind. Some symptoms of insanity include : frequent lying, stealing , fighting , no guilt or remorse for anything whatsoever , breaking the law repeatedly , the ability to act charming and witty, disregarding of the safety of others, manipulating other people 's emotions, and inability to tolerate frustration . Both Dick and Perry poses some of these traits / symptoms which may lead us to believe they could