Compassion For The Killer In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Compassion for the Killer Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote writes with bias and embellishes much of the story of the 1959 Clutter Family mass murder. As Capote researched further into the murders, he developed a personal attachment to one of the killers. Even Capote’s most significant claims surrounding the Clutter Family mass murder are unreliable, as he is strongly biased towards one of the killers. Capote’s portrayals of the two murderers, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, vary, as Capote draws sympathy in favor of Perry. Capote, himself, developed an attachment to Perry, and his writing clearly favors him. Capote is not subtle about his portrayal of Richard “Dick” Hickock. Dick is portrayed as an impulsive, narrow minded …show more content…
Capote describes Perry’s childhood, where he was beaten by nuns and suffered callous racism for being half Indian (Capote 132). Capote also writes of Perry’s dysfunctional and tragic relationship with his father and other family members. Later in the story, Capote describes how Dick manipulates and takes advantage of Perry. Capote builds compassion and sympathy towards Perry (despite the fact that Perry killed all four members of the Clutter family) because Capote, himself, was intimately acquainted with Perry. In the 2005 biography/crime drama Capote, this relationship is thoroughly elaborated on. As Capote interviews Perry there are hints of a romantic affiliation, though it is never explicit. Regardless of whether or not any romantic affiliation took place, Capote clearly cares about Perry. While interviewing Perry, Capote compassionately remarks “, If I leave here without understanding you, the world will always see you as a monster[.] I don’t want that[.]” (Miller, Capote). Later, Capote weeps as he witnesses Perry’s execution, whereas Dick’s is not shown. Therefore, the relationship between Capote and Perry is strongly emphasized. Capote calls upon the reader to sympathize with Perry because Capote, himself, sympathizes with Perry. Truman Capote cared deeply for Perry Smith, and it is visible throughout In Cold Blood. Despite actually killing all four Clutter members, the reader is still drawn to feel compassion

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