The American Nightmare By Truman Capote Essay

1700 Words Oct 12th, 2015 7 Pages
The American Nightmare
Seconds after brutally suffocating an elderly man with his own bed at midnight, the narrator “[examines] the corpse” and then calmly states, “Yes, he was stone, stone dead” (Poe 190). Haunted by the old man’s eye, the mentally unstable narrator decides to murder him. The bloodcurdling narrator believes he can get away with murder, until the guilt overwhelms him; consequently, the narrator reveals to the cops that he committed the crime. Similarly, in Truman Capote’s novel, the unrealistic American Dream haunts Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, so they fearlessly murder the Clutter family. Dick and Perry grow up in undesirable childhoods that lack conditions for them to grow into successful people. Plagued by failures and driven by greed, Hickock and Smith try to steal the American Dream, in the form of money, from the Clutters, but fail, realizing the American Dream only applies to certain people in society. With In Cold Blood, Capote contrasts the Clutter’s life and Dick’s and Perry’s lives through their diverse social backgrounds, their economic status, and the town of Holcomb’s prejudices towards Dick and Perry in order to convey his belief in the inequality of the American Dream favors which favor those with a wealthier, educated background.
Since success favors those who come from a high social status, Capote deviates between the praiseworthy background and the undesirable background to show the discrimination of the American Dream.…

Related Documents