Sympathy for Murderer in Truman Capote´s In Cold Blood Essay

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Most people believe that everyone gets what they deserve. That all bad actions deserve consequences. To many, that is what the so-called “justice” system is for. Criminals are supposed to be punished by the law, but is it always fair to the criminals? What if one of those criminals had an awful life growing up and just was unable to stay out of trouble? It is just this question that Truman Capote addresses in his book, In Cold Blood. Throughout the book, Capote creates sympathy for Perry Smith while claiming the justice system is flawed in the way it punishes the wrong people. Perry Smith did not live the happy childhood that he deserved, abandoned by his family at a young age he was forced to live at a terrible orphanage. “The …show more content…
Again, the sympathy for Perry’s youth is created. Capote creates sympathy for Perry’s criminal record, by talking about Perry’s life. It seems that his record was an extension of the godforsaken environments in which he had to grow up in. At the very end of his life, which is also the end of the book, Capote keeps true to creating sympathy for Perry when it is his turn to be hanged, Capote describes what is happening with a certain kind of detail that brings out the good inside of Perry. “His expression was sober. His sensitive eyes gazed” (Capote 340). The sympathetic diction in describing how Perry’s last moments were being lived gives the effect that Perry didn’t deserve to die, but he wasn’t afraid. Within the book, Capote also showed the justice system is flawed. Perry Smith didn’t truly have a motive for killing the Clutters, and it was Dr. Jones that suggested Perry was mentally disabled. “Perry Smith shows definite signs of severe mental illness… Two features in his personality make-up stand out as particularly pathological. The first is his ‘paranoid’ orientation toward the world. He is suspicious and distrustful of others… In evaluating the intentions and feelings of others, his ability to separate the real situation from his own mental projections is very poor” (Capote 296-297). The pathos that

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