The Morality Of The Clutter Family In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood?

1377 Words 6 Pages
Truman Capote wrote the nonfiction novel In Cold Blood with the accounts from the murderers and investigators of the Clutter family. While reading this novel, readers learn about the virtues of the Clutter family. Whenever the Clutter family’s life is examined, the family’s kind and charitable nature manifests. As long as the Clutter family lives, the members remain involved in the community and never turn down a chance to help others. As Capote grew up, he found himself neglected by his mother and father. Because his mother and father often neglected him, he spent much of his young life with his mother’s relatives. While Capote was young, his mother often made fun of him for being “different” from other children. Although Capote faced many …show more content…
In In Cold Blood, Truman shares this outlook on family with readers. Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes the beneficence and innocence of the Clutter family to contrast with the characters of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith; Capote reveals the murderers’ contemptible morality through their criminality, remorse, and confessions. Truman Capote displays the true nature of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith through their criminality. When Dick first learns of the Clutter family, he attains knowledge of their wealth. Truman writes, “Why should that ‘big shot bastard’ have all the luck? With a knife in his hand, he, Dick, had power. Big- shot bastards like that had better be careful or he might ‘open them up and let a little of their luck spill on the floor’” (Capote 201). Though Mr. Clutter rightfully earns all of his money, Dick labels Clutter’s wealth as “luck.” Because Dick believes the wealth of the family stems from chance, he develops an aura of jealousy towards the innocent family. Although the Clutters never wronged Dick, jealousy fuels his anger and hatred. As these motives imbue Dick, he shows his criminality by taking part in the …show more content…
As the Clutter family’s life models the life of a well- rounded family, nobody could have expected Dick and Perry to murder them. The murders of the Clutter family portray a common occurrence throughout Capote’s works. Randy Malamud writes, “Not fitting, not belonging, is the tragic bane of all Capote’s characters, from Joel and Collin to Holly and Perry Smith” (Malamud). While Capote writes the fate of his characters, the natures of actions that occur do not always reflect the true nature of the character. As Capote wrote the story of an exceptional family, he also, wrote the devastating demise of that family. This conveys Capote’s attitude that a well- rounded family can endure adversity. Because of the Clutter family’s great wealth and the perpetrators’ yearning for wealth, the actions against the family are clearly done through Dick and Perry’s greed. Following the motive of greed, Mark Krone writes, “This was the family that was murdered by two young men who broke into their home ostensibly just to rob the place” (Krone). Krone agrees the motive was greed. Because the Clutter family had never wronged anyone, Capote utilizes their innocence to portray his attitude that a virtuous family can face

Related Documents