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Nature Vs. Nurture In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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What made you into who you are today? For years psychologist have debated nature vs.nurture, something that has a great influence on a persons behaviour. Nature is a genetic material while nurture refers to the experiences you've had. In Truman Capote "In Cold Blood" Capote expresses that both nature and nurture play a role in a persons life. Richard "Dick" Hickock was a star athlete and a successful student. While Perry Smith has had a very traumatic life from moving, suffering from abuse, etc. What made these two very opposite people, come together to commit one awful crime?
Smith had a terrible upbringing. Starting with parents that didn't get along, a mother who abandoned her family, and sister who committed suicide. Capote goes into full …show more content…
He had loving parents, many friends and girlfriends, star athlete, and was extraordinary in school. While being compared to Perry, Dick seems to have nothing in his background to turn into a criminal. Ultimately, Capote must portray Dicks criminality is from birth or in more technical terms- nature. Motivated by lust, greed, vanity, and indulgence of any kind. He is the mastermind of the whole crime. Beneath all the good he came from he was a criminal mastermind. Again both men are completely different, after the murders Dick shows no remorse or interest in discussing the crime. He remains focused on finding money and women, and avoiding capture. Dicks father believes that Dick started a bad decisions such as gambling, cheating on his wife, and writing bad checks after a car accident. With all these facts Dicks life started to go down hill which may have cause him to turn into a criminal. Although the criminal psychiatrist that examined Richard for his trial agrees that it is possible that Dick's behavior is the result of organic brain damage from the accident. There is not a clear conclusion on whether nature or nurture caused Dick to become a violent criminal. The fact that he was a successful athlete and student indicates that he probably was not a natural criminal. Behavior changes after the accident would lead the reader to this conclusion. Dick and Perry both think that the other is psychotic in their own …show more content…
As cultural changes more, so have popular understandings of this debate. Perhaps the only people that feel sorry for Perry are the ones that believe that nurture takes the largest toll on a person’s behavior. This leaves those who consider their human nature to be the primary factor in their decisions, the ones who are more likely to be proponents of capital punishment. As for me, I believe that Nurture has the largest toll on our actions. We are all born with the capacity to do evil and good things, but the events and role models in our lives shape our minds to such an drastic extent that they define our character and the conscience that tells us how far to stray from what is right. It is obvious that Truman Capote believed that Perry became a criminal mostly because of his Bad nurture not because of his nature.
Overall, it is clear that Capote creates roles for each of the criminals in terms of nature versus nurture. Perry serves as a non-nurturing childhood which makes him even more capable of committing murder. While Dick being the opposite serving the purpose of a persons nature to kill. Nature and nurture are not mutually exclusive from each other. They both have a major impact on a person’s actions and mental and emotional

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