Analysis of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote Essay

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The captivating story of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a beautifully written piece describing the unveiling of a family murder. This investigative, fast-paced and straightforward documentary provides a commentary of such 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. As this twisted novel unravels, Capote defines the themes of childhood influences relevant to the adulthood of the murderers, opposite personalities, and nature versus nurture. Truman Capote gives the reader a detailed report of Perry Smith's and Dick Hickock's childhoods. Smith's childhood was very problematic and …show more content…
Hickock's childhood had no horror stories. His years of childhood showed no signs of abuse or neglect, but his parents were a little overprotective. He showed no real hatred for his parents or his childhood. Dick's commencement into adulthood revealed his abnormal "tendencies," (Capote 115) and proof is given by Hickock: "I think the main reason I went there [the Clutter home] was not to rob them but to rape the girl" (Capote 278). Another theme throughout In Cold Blood is the attraction of opposite personalities between Hickock and Smith. The first scene of Perry Smith is with a guitar and a set of road maps. The guitar appears to function as a feminine image and symbol. Part of what attracts Hickock to Smith is that Hickock feels "totally masculine" by this. In one scene, the criminals' automobile is mentioned. One of Perry's possessions is the guitar, and the "instrument that characterizes his companion Dick... a twelve gauge pump-action shotgun." Another instance of Smith's feminism is Hickock's constant addressing of him as "sugar," "honey," and "baby," for example, Perry says "O.K., sugar—whatever you say" (Capote 46) to Dick when discussing the murder. Outside the novel, Truman Capote himself actually falls in love with Perry Smith; only he likes him because he sees a reflection of himself somewhat in Smith. Capote includes long