Essay on Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

1778 Words 8 Pages
Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood with the intention of creating a new non-fiction genre, a creative spin on a newspaper article with the author, and his opinions and judgments completely absent from the text, leaving only the truth for the reader to interpret. The pages of In Cold Blood are filled with facts and first-hand accounts of the events surrounding the brutal murder of a wealthy unsuspecting family in Holcomb, Kansas. Author Truman Capote interviewed countless individuals to get an accurate depiction of every one affected by and every side of the murder. Although he declares himself an unbiased and opinion-free author, based on the extensive descriptions of one of the murderers, Perry Smith, there is much debate about this …show more content…
Once he’s viewed as intellectual enough to analyze Perry and make assertions about his personality traits, Capote can successfully project and subtly impose his opinion of Perry. Later, Perry explains Willie-Jay is as “perceptive as a well-trained psychologist” (Capote 42-3). Because psychologists go through extensive schooling to be able to accurately assess individuals, Capote includes this quote to portray Willie-Jay as an authorial figure whose thoughts are accurate and should be widely accepted. The emphasis on ‘well-trained’ provides more weight in everything Willie-Jay says and cements his trustworthiness. Capote prefaces Willie-Jay with the concept that he is as trustworthy as a smart and ‘well-trained psychologist,’ so readers trust and accept Willie-Jay’s opinions of Perry, and, by extension, his personal opinion that readers should sympathize with him and readily accept the justifications for the murders.
Truman Capote saw Perry as being superior to others in his uniqueness and, since he is “absent” from the novel, expressed this opinion in Willie-Jay’s character accounts of Perry. After asserting Willie-Jay’s legitimacy, Capote presents the farewell letter that Willie-Jay wrote to Perry. In it, Willie-Jay analyzes Perry in a psychologist-like manner; he writes:
You are a man of extreme passion, a hungry man not quite sure