Psychosis Leads to Murder Essay

828 Words Feb 7th, 2013 4 Pages
Psychosis Leads To Murder Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote writes on the events directly before, during, and the happenings after the brutal murdering of the Clutter family in the quaint town of Holcomb, Kansas. The actions Dick Hickock and Perry Smith attracted Capote and led him to ultimately report on the entire ordeal. Throughout Capote’s masterpiece, In Cold Blood, Hickock and Smith’s deranged and psychotic actions directly correlate to a deep psychosis they both suffered for multiple years.
Throughout the novel, In Cold Blood, the two murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, show instances of unwarranted anger and aggression that leads readers into believing that a serious issue with their psyches have occurred.
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In many instances they vocalize this to each other and even to complete strangers. Shortly after the murders Smith said, “…The kind of psychotic rage it took to commit such a crime” (Capote 83). And Hickock mentioned, “I think there must be something seriously wrong with us to do what we did” (Capote 108). The context of these two quotes makes it quite easy to understand why readers believe that Hickock and Smith knew of their mental issues prior to the murders but both decided to ignore them. In Conniff’s article “Psychological Accidents: In Cold Blood and Ritual Sacrifice,” he agrees with the idea above by stating a written portion of an interview with Hickock done by Capote that reads, “Like all of the rest of the ‘normals,’ as Perry calls them—‘respectable people, safe and smug people’” (3). This is yet another solid acknowledgement of his insanity, which he chooses to blatantly ignore. Throughout the entire novel, Hickock and Smith both suffer seriously from psychotic delusions and emotional rants, which forces readers to perceive Hickock and Smith as mentally insane men. During one of these rants Smith exclaims, “I WANT TO CONESS!” (Capote 100). Hickock also shows multiple instances of emotional rants also. One of many comes when his sister says she will not contact him and he, overrun by emotion, states, “I wish she’d been in that house that night. What a sweet scene!”

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