Analysis Of Truman Capote 's ' Cold Blood '

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The usually quiet and lonesome village of Holcomb resides peacefully until the unthinkable happens. During mid-November of 1959 a family of four is shot in their own home. The brutal death of the Clutters creates a sense of uncertainty and paranoia over the village. Truman Capote writes on the tragic story in his novel, In Cold Blood. When found, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock are appointed a trial and face Kansas’s death penalty. However, questions arise about the defendants’ punishment in relation to their mental capacity, specifically Perry Smith’s. Perry deserves to receive special consideration because his childhood causes his mental instability, which allows him to be easily persuaded and not in control of his actions. Perry endures a…show more content…
As a result, making him seem as a malicious and spiteful human being. Green, the prosecuting attorney, goes onto state “And if ever there was a case in which the maximum penalty was justified, this is it. These were strange, ferocious murders” (304). They claim that others with similar childhoods exemplify the ability to overcome their situation and appear successful in life, so Perry should too. Moreover, they use Perry’s sister, Barbara, as an example of a person, who demonstrates the ability to appear as successful and conquer her childhood. However, it proves to be unfair to compare the childhood of Perry with the childhood of others. Each child and how they are affected by their situation appears as unique. Also, the argument of Barbara’s ability to overcome her childhood is overshadowed by the fates of his other three siblings and the comments she makes about her own future. When reflecting on her siblings doomful fates, she expresses feeling of torment as she “thought that in time, she too, would be overwhelmed: go mad, or contract an incurable illness, or in a fire lose all she valued-home, husband, and children” (183). Obviously Perry’s childhood deeply affects his mental capacity as well as his siblings. They are all products of their similar upbringing; “The eldest, the brother she loved, had shot himself; Fern had fallen out of a window or jumped; and Perry was committed to violence, a criminal” (183).The only other
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