Truman Capote : An Archetype Of A Pathological Criminal Essay

1522 Words Nov 12th, 2015 null Page
Truman Capote, in his novel In Cold Blood, establishes the character of Perry Smith as an archetype of a pathological criminal (as evidenced by the cited psychological study on “murder without apparent motive” (299-302)), communicating the level of complexity of the emotional makeup of criminals. Capote focuses his novel on Perry, detailing his thoughts, past, relationships, and ambitions. Perry reflects as a loner who mistrusts others, including those he wishes to call friends (297), revealing a deeper level of emotion than the cold-blooded acts of murder suggest. In detailing Perry’s personal relationships and familial upbringing (or lack thereof), Capote the importance of love and friendship in the development of a child; Perry had neither, rather suffering racial abuse and public humiliation as a seven year old. Perry’s actions are thus perceived as not necessarily being ‘his fault’, but rather a product of circumstances.
Capote delineates Perry’s attachment to his past while tracing how its tendrils creep into his present habits, formulating the concept that one’s past can shape one’s future. From the very beginning of the novel and from the reader’s first glimpse at Perry, Capote calls attention to Perry’s boxes filled with memorabilia that constitute his worldly possessions. In his early thirties, Perry still clings to his childhood dreams of becoming “Perry O’Parsons” and a deep-sea-diver (14). Perry’s friendship with Dick depends on him being “totally masculine”…

Related Documents