In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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In the non-fiction novel “In Cold Blood,” Truman Capote brings into the picture a common psychological debate, “Nature vs Nurture.” Capote utilizes this ideal, in a manner that he gives his audience a manipulative viewpoint on the bases of particular characters based on this aspect. “Nature vs Nurture,” is used by the author to bring a relationship between not only Dick and Perry the main viewpoints of the novel, but also Capote himself. In basic terms, Capote brings a correlation of “Nature vs Nurture” between himself and those who were identified as the monsters, whether by “Nature”-inherited traits over which cannot be controlled; genetics that determines our behavior, or “Nurture”- upbringing by parents and family friends, life experiences.

Capote throughout his novel writes in a certain demeanor in which he manipulates his readers to have a twisted outlook on the means of the criminal reasoning for the murders that had taken place. Throughout the book, the audience is given a perspective of each culprit, and their personality and past experiences along with the aspects of their lives. Capote gives both Dick and Perry a Persona based on his description of each individual which links to both Dick and Perry’s “Nature vs Nurture.” The background of the perpetrators is weaved within the novel to explain each individual’s human behavior due to past experiences and upbringing. Capote uses descriptive manners of manipulation in his writing in ways that he brings his readers to sympathize with the wrongdoing of two individuals, in specific Perry Smith.

Perry Smith, his life seemed to be a never-ending list of misfortunes following one after another. He grew up under unfortunate circumstances, from moving all over, to an abusive father, and a mother who took to drinking and eventually abandoned him; two suicides of his two siblings and the death of his mother. To add to his already declining life Perry endured a devastating motorcycle accident that left his legs almost crippled and left him in continual pain. In the case, of Perry’s deprived upbringing it would bring the reader to the conclusion that Perry was nurtured into the role of a murderer. Capote makes the emphasis on the readers that “nurture” was absent in Perry’s life which resulted in the violent crime that he performed as an adult. The reader is left to sympathize with Perry, as Capote portrays Smith as having suffered as a consequence of his “Nurture.” Although we come to know that Perry is the one behind the murders; Smiths’ personality is emphasized to be that of a normal and kind-hearted guy. Due to such contrast, the readers are left conflicted as to question, what an actual quintessential murder really looks like? Capote makes it obvious to the readers that Perry was not born a murder, but his calamitous lifestyle, his “nurture,” played the main role.

Richard Hickock (Dick), he grew up with loving parents, he lettered in nine sports, but he feels as though he has not been given what he deserves in life.

Cite this paper

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. (2020, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/in-cold-blood-by-truman-capote/

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