In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood; a wonderful mystery novel written by Truman Capote that incorporates mind-boggling suspense and brutal detailing, I believe he did achieve his goal to be both objective and sympathetic. Capote gave not only the detailed account of Perry Smith’s and Dick Hickock’s childhoods but also the murder of the Clutter family. Smith’s childhood was very problematic and scarred by years of abuse, making us feel as if he committed the murder because of his sorrow past. Perry had on several occasions run off, set out to find his lost father, for he had lost his mother as well, learned to ‘despise’ her; liquor had blurred the face, swollen the figure of the once sinewy, limber Cherokee girl, had ‘soured her soul’, honed her tongue to the wickedest point, so dissolved her self-respect that generally she did not bother to ask the names of the stevedores and trolley-car conductors and such persons who accepted what she offered without charge…
Consequently, as Perry recalled, ‘Iu was always thinking about Dad, hoping he could come take me away… ” (Capote 161) This passage offers a glimpse into Perry’s childhood. He never had the solid upbringing or happy childhood, he was constantly miserable and in search of a father to save him from his drunken mother. This passage is meant to build sympathy toward Perry and to show that he suffered throughout his life. When he came to the Clutters they represented the life that he had always wanted, the life he hoped his father would bring him to, and the life he never had.
We have pity for his unfortunate past when reading about how Perry has these recurring dreams, in which he is rescued from danger by yellow parrot, who “wings him away to paradise. ” By the end of the book, however, we become aware of some of Dick’s own insecurities: his failure to achieve financial security and support his first wife, Carol, and their three children, and his sexual interest in young girls, both of which he recompense for with his reckless criminal actions. In the third section, Answers, all the mystery that was hidden throughout the book is revealed.
In this section reveals how they slayed the four helpless family members. There were also many interviews where Capote focuses on minor details that would seem sympathetic towards the killers. In this section Capote balances the intentions of being objective and sympathetic; a balancing effect that makes his intentions a Jack of all Trades but a master of none. Capote is sympathetic towards Smith within the progression of this book, as in page 246 he points out how “Perry Smith’s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful, an ugly and lonely progress toward one mirage and then another.   This covers the sympathy part of his intentions. Capote remains factual in this section by using many testimonies from both Perry and Dick thorough out the entire section. “I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat. “(Smith 244). This quote from Perry is one of the defining pieces of evidence for those who believe that Perry was insane when he committed the murders. He commits the murders not because he wants to hurt anyone but because he takes out his own frustration at his situation upon them.
The Clutters are just on the receiving end of his anger but they are not the source, they are only a symbolic example of the life and values that Perry has always wanted but never had. Work Cited/ Bibliography SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on In Cold Blood. ” SparkNotes. com. SparkNotes LLC. n. d.. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. – – -. “The Story Behind a Nonfiction Novel. ” Interview by George Plimpton. New York Times. New York Times Company, 1997. Web. 22 Dec. 2009. . Laubacher, Grace. Chazelle, Damien ed. *In Cold Blood Bibliography*. GradeSaver, 31 July 2009 Web. 30 August 2012.

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