Essay on A Chilling Perspective in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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A Chilling Perspective in Capote's In Cold Blood

Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" is the story of Perry and Dick and the night of November 15, 1959. This investigative, fast-paced and straightforward documentary provides a commentary on the nature of American violence and examines the details of the motiveless murders of four members of the Clutter family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers.

While reading Truman Capote's novel,"In Cold Blood ", I spent more than one night lying awake in my bed, frightened by Capote's presentation of the facts surrounding the murder of an obscure Kansas farmer and three of his family members. Several times, I caught myself wondering why this book
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This draws the reader closer to the men than they would, perhaps, like to be.

Capote talks about the lives of both killers previous to the murders in fairly significant detail. In the case of Perry Smith, his parents divorced early in his childhood and neither his mother nor father really wanted him. This produced feelings of abandonment and uselessness early on in Perry and affected the rest of his life. Capote brings up a letter written to the Kansas State Penitentiary about Perry by Perry's father, who was trying to have Perry paroled for a previous crime he had committed. Perry says that "this biography always set racing a series of emotions--self pity in the lead, love and hate evenly at first, the latter ultimately pulling ahead" (130). Perry didn't feel as though his father ever knew him very well, or even wanted to know him. He says, "whole sections of my Dad was ignorant of. Didn't understand an iota of...I had this great natural musical ability. Which Dad didn't recognize. Or care about...I never got any encouragement from him or anybody else" (133). When Perry's father threw him out of the house one evening because his father could no longer afford to have Perry live with him, Perry lost his sense of direction in life. He even says