Childhoods And Killers In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Truman Capote, the author of In Cold Blood, had an intense and meaningful relationship with both murderers of the Clutter family, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Readers of In Cold Blood do not have a full, unbiased view of the crime because of Capote’s relationship with Perry and Dick. In order to create a more sympathetic view of both Perry and Dick, but mostly Perry, Capote manipulated the story and information through examples and backstory to show the killers as sympathetic people instead of cold blooded murderers.
Readers are not seeing the full story from an unbiased eye when reading In Cold Blood because of how close Capote was with both Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. By showing the childhoods and backgrounds of both Perry and Dick, Capote created a sympathetic audience for the murderers. Readers have an unbiased eye when quotes are used from Alvin Dewey, Perry Smith, or Dick Hickock, but the way that Capote chose to write the story, including the addition of Perry and Dick’s backgrounds, created a biased view of the Clutter murder case. Capote included the entire letter Perry Smith’s father wrote about Perry for Kansas State Parole, which was boasting about why Perry was a good man and what caused him to commit crime, creating a certain view of Perry onto the reader. Perry’s father describes that Perry’s mother “dr[ank] and step[ped] out…. [and that Perry was] a
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Because of the feelings Capote felt for Smith he would often times manipulate the text to make the reader feel bad for Perry, sometimes even more than for Dick. By including details about Perry’s background and his sense of regret Capote is creating the illusion that Perry was not at fault for the murders and felt bad for what he did. The readers of In Cold Blood are actually victims of Capote’s portrayal of events based on his biased opinion of Perry Smith and Dick

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