Loss of Innocence in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood Essay

870 Words 4 Pages
"All things truly wicked start from an innocence,” states Ernest Hemingway on his view of innocence. Innocence, what every youth possesses, is more accurately described as a state of unknowing but not ignorance- which connotation suggests a blissfully positive view of the world. Most youth are protected from the harsh realities of the adult world. Therefore they are able to maintain their state of innocence. While innocence normally wanes over time, sometimes innocence can be abruptly taken away. Some of the characters in Truman Capotes In Cold Blood lost their innocence due to the traumatic events they experienced in childhood and adulthood while some had none to begin with.
Innocence can be stolen but the desire to return to the
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Parents are supposed to shelter their children from the fraudulent outside world and keep their purity intact. Perry Smith, murderer of the Clutter family, had an upbringing that “was marked by brutality and lack of concern on the part of both parents.” Due to his childhood he “seems to have grown up without direction, and without ever having absorbed any fixed sense of moral values.” He felt no regret for murdering the family, only that he felt sorry that they were the ones “ that … had to pay for it.” While Dick considered Perry as innocent, “he had never been with a woman”, he believed Perry was a “natural born killer” who “attaches little real value to human life”. Perry’s tragic upbringing had turned him into a cold-blooded killer unaware of the beauty of innocence, which he so easily stole from the Clutter family the moment he killed them. Innocent people cannot be protected from the individual whose innocence is not present.
If innocence is not present in an individual it cannot be protected. An individual of this kind makes choices that effect how corrupt they can become. Dick Hickock had a loving family, who supported and loved him as he grew up. Even though he was in a nurturing environment that protected him from the corrupt society around him, he still became a criminal. This shows that innocence, if not present in the first place, cannot be salvaged. After passing “hot checks” he was put in jail where his jealousy of
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