Humanization In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

1688 Words 7 Pages
The desperation and agony of a flawed and failed view of a dream consorts to the genesis of fault and immorality. Sometimes it takes a great occurrence to produce a change. The humanization of a murderer is difficult idea to grasp but is a necessity to clearly define the blindness and innocence of the killer. Ultimately, the confection of these concepts sets the stage for a murder novel. In his book, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote illustrates the murder of a family with strong metaphors and symbolism to attempt to display the humanization of the murderers and the American Dream with the ideological changes in the town of Holcomb. The humanization of the murderer Perry depicts itself through symbolism by explaining his blindness and innocence …show more content…
In the murder trial, Capote includes the metaphor of Mr. Clutter to Perry’s dad as a “key figure in some past traumatic configuration: his father,” which explains Perry’s perverse actions of killing Mr. Clutter (302). Comparing Mr. Clutter to Perry’s dad explains how this murderer killed in cold blood because of how his father caused misery for the killer during his childhood. Additionally, this establishes the effect of Perry’s corrupt childhood and how it correlates to the murder. It is also a case of Capote’s attempts of humanization as he criticizes Perry’s upbringing as a reason for his cruel actions. The author compares Perry in jail as a “seagull in a wheat field” because he looked like he was misplaced (272). Perry’s upbringing isolates him from Dick because in his childhood and adolescent years, he was essentially tortured by the nuns and his family, whereas Dick had a perfectly normal life until a certain point, which goes onto further show that Perry’s isolative lifestyle represents the seagull metaphor. Moreover, this comparison by Capote denotes humanization directly towards Perry, while Dick does not receive this act of respect from the author through the usage of the seagull metaphor. Capote encompasses the different …show more content…
The author reveals the shift from people who “seldom trouble lock their doors” to townsfolk who have “had all the locks changed” (5,87). The people in the town of Holcomb trusted everyone enough to keep their doors unlocked, but after the murder, families not only began to lock their doors, but also changed their locks because they were no longer blinded from the truth about the world and how it is not dependable as it seems. After the people heard the news of the murder, the town began to turn on each other as they called each other “rattlesnakes, varmints… It’s the same the whole world over” (69). Hours after the murder, the people began to develop a more secular view on the town as people are snakes like the rest of world and how their town is now tainted. The murder not only affected the town but also Al Dewey, the lead detective of the case. This detective had a dream about how he sees Dick and Perry but cannot catch them. When he wakes up, he looks as “though he were a feverish, frightened ten-year-old; his hair was wet, his shirt cold-damp and clinging” (197). The empowering diction used to describe the childlike reactions to this dream, prove the effect of the murder not only on the town but also the detectives and the many months of searching for

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