In Cold Blood: Nature vs Nurture Essay

885 Words 4 Pages
In Truman Capote’s famous non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood, there is evidence that supports the injustices of the trial: death penalty. The final outcome of the trail was never to be any different than death. “Of all the people in all the world, the Clutters were the least likely to be murdered” (Capote 85). We know the two men who killed the Clutter family, Perry Smith and Bill Hickock, preplanned the crime with malice and forethought. Although the actions were crul and grusome, does Death Row fit what they did if their pasts, childhood environments and situation, are bad. Capote shows the effect of childhood on the killers and if the death penalty is fair. Capote gives the killers a voice to show their humanity by giving childhood …show more content…
If the juror had had this incite would they have sentenced Smith and Hickock to death? Perry Smith came from a very dysfunctional family. Growing up Perry was never taught right from wrong. His parents divorced after years of domestic violence, his mother became an alcoholic. Due to the stresses at home he is a cronique run-away. He was “in and out of detention homes many times” (277); an orphanage. The cottage mistress severely beats and humiliates Smith for wetting the bed. During Smith’s teen years two of his sibling’s committed suicide, and the surviving sibling refusing to interact with him. Smith was angry, conflicted, and scarred by years of abuse. Taking the opportunities his adulthood gave him to act out against the world that hurt him. Dick Hickock had an excellent family, but they did struggle with finances. He was an outstanding athlete and a good student. Dick was “An outstanding athlete-always on the first team at school. Basketball! Baseball! Football! Dick was always the star player. A pretty good student, too, with A marks in several subjects…” (Capote 166).“I think the main reason I went there (the Clutter home) was not to rob them but to rape the girl” (Capote 278). In the ongoing debate about whether nature or nurture is the primary force shaping a person’s character, Capote comes down firmly on the side of nurture and environment in his book In Cold Blood. Was Capote trying to justify
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