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In Cold Blood Character Analysis Essay

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In Cold Blood Character Analysis Essay

Perry Smith Is one born a murderer or does one become a murderer? That is the question that Truman Capote tackles in his non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. In his 1966 novel Capote relates in detail the true and horrific murders of four members of the Clutter family in 1959 in the town of Holcomb, Kansas, but more specifically focuses on the murderers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, and their motivation to commit such a cold blooded crime. Out of the two, Perry Smith is the most complex character who displays a natural ability to kill, but who also has been shaped to become a murderer, making a more “likable” character than his co-murderer Dick Hickock. In the first part of his novel entitled The Last to See Them Alive, Capote gives the reader hints that Perry Smith is indeed born a natural killer. When he was jailed in the Kansas penitentiary “Perry described a murder, telling how simply for the hell of it," he had killed a colored man in Las Vegas - beaten him to death with a bicycle chain” (Capote 54). After hearing the story his future partner in crime Dick Hickock “became convinced that Perry was that rarity, "a natural killer" - absolutely sane, but conscienceless, and capable of dealing, with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows” (Capote 55). Perry Smith certainly proved to be “that rarity” when he cold bloodedly killed with a single shot in the head Nancy, Kenyon, Bonnie Clutter, and cut Herb Clutter’s throat. He is a completely remorseless killer. One second he is talking nicely to his victim, and the following one he is slashing his throat. “I didn't want to harm the man.”, he told the FBI investigators, “I thought he was a very nice gentleman.Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat” (Capote 244) Nevertheless Perry Smith the murderer is also the product of a terrible...

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In Cold Blood Character Analysis Essay

...he used to cry because he thought a sunset was beautiful. Or the moon. Oh, he can fool you. He can make you feel so sorry for him--¨ (Capote 182). Leading up to this interview, Capote repeatedly illustrates how Dick is a monster compared to Perry, and portrays the idea that Perry has potential to be good. However, the way Mrs. Johnson describes Perry and exaggerates how he can come off as warm-hearted and kind, is similar to the way he appears in section one and two. As more details of Perry are revealed, he is presented in a manipulative way, just as Mrs. Johnson states. This illustrates the idea that one can have many different aspects to their personality, until you get to know them well enough. In order to further complicate Perry´s character, Capote uses juxtaposition by contrasting Dick and Perry´s physical appearance. The way in which the investigators describe Dick makes him seem relatively normal: ¨He was wearing a blue shirt and suntans and white socks and black shoes. We shook hands; his hand was drier than mine. Clean, polite, nice voice, good diction, a pretty decent looking fellow, with a very disarming smile...¨ (Capote 216). However, the way the investigators describe Perry is the opposite of Dick: ¨...this chunky, misshapen, child-man was not pretty; the pink end of his tongue darted forth, flickering like the tongue of a lizard (Capote 224). The contrast in Dick and Perry´s physical appearance portrays Perry as the bad guy. This leads to the assumption that......

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...Thesis: Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” conveys true crime and the portrayal of the killers. Throughout the novel, Perry and Dick are transformed from heartless, cold-blooded monsters, whose actions seem to be motiveless evil, into the troubled, pitiful, and human individuals they are at the end of the book. The crime itself is reduced to many emotional responses. Preliminary Bibliography Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood: Random House. Alan. U. Schwartz. New York, 1965. Print. ------------------------------------------------- Primary Source Corregido, Jeronimo. "A Study of Genre in In Cold Blood: A Formal Perspective." A Study of Genre in “In Cold Blood”: A Formal Perspective. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015:Academia.edu. swales, john. M. Massachusetts, 1990. Cambridge University. ------------------------------------------------- This essay conveys the death and crime which the book portrays. This relates to my primary source, “In Cold Blood” which portrays sudden death and crime upon the family. "In Cold Blood :: Character Analysis, Perry Smith. "In Cold Blood :: Character Analysis, Perry Smith. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. ------------------------------------------------- This essay “Cold Blood” shows the traumatic story from the killers’ perspective. It also conveys how the killers’ background effected how they proceeded in life. Hemingway, Ernest. "Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway Study Guide: “The Killers” Summary and Analysis." Short Stories of......

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...In the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote (1965) gives his own narrative of the Holcomb tragedy in which a family of four living out on a secluded farm were slaughtered with a shotgun by the collaboration of two individuals for a seemingly few dollars. In this novel, Capote gives a thorough character description of the two murderers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, as he recreates their experience (much as he sees it as it would be from their eyes). He gives accounts preceding the event, through it, and eventually into their trial and execution. From the descriptions Capote provides, a psychological analysis of the mental states of Hickock and Smith can be asserted. Richard Hickock can be seen as possessing significant traits of psychopathy, while his partner Perry Smith is seen with traits similar to that of a life-course persistent offender. Through the described personality characteristics and brief histories of Hickock and Smith, this essay will address this assertion with the two in question as individuals themselves, within their relationship to each other, and also as other characters see and analyze their psychological well being. The reader gets to “know” Perry Smith very well throughout the novel and acquires the sense that Capote feels sympathetic to his situation as compared to that of Hickock. Smith, introduced as much the loner type, is described by the narrator and the character Smith himself (in a letter to a psychiatrist) as growing up in a......

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...Thesis: Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” conveys true crime and the portrayal of the killers. Throughout the novel, Perry and Dick are transformed from heartless, cold-blooded monsters, whose actions seem to be motiveless evil, into the troubled, pitiful, and human individuals they are at the end of the book. The crime itself is reduced to many emotional responses. Preliminary Bibliography Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood: Random House. Alan. U. Schwartz. New York, 1965. Print. ------------------------------------------------- Primary Source Corregido, Jeronimo. "A Study of Genre in In Cold Blood: A Formal Perspective." A Study of Genre in “In Cold Blood”: A Formal Perspective. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015:Academia.edu. swales, john. M. Massachusetts, 1990. Cambridge University. ------------------------------------------------- This essay conveys the death and crime which the book portrays. This relates to my primary source, “In Cold Blood” which portrays sudden death and crime upon the family. "In Cold Blood :: Character Analysis, Perry Smith. "In Cold Blood :: Character Analysis, Perry Smith. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. ------------------------------------------------- This essay “Cold Blood” shows the traumatic story from the killers’ perspective. It also conveys how the killers’ background effected how they proceeded in life. Hemingway, Ernest. "Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway Study Guide: “The Killers” Summary and Analysis." Short Stories of......

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