Professor Robert Senior
21 September 2014
Are Murders Born or Made?
Truman Capote's chilling novel, In Cold Blood, analyzes the concept of is one simply born a murderer or does one chose to become one. Capote focuses most of the novel on the two killers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Perry is shown sympathy by Capote as he reveals Perry's rather unpleasant childhood. Capote argues that Perry could have lived a normal life and fulfilled his aspirations and dreams if he had not been abused, rejected from society, or neglected. Dick is portrayed as a normal man yet we later find out that his thoughts are corrupted. Both characters end up paying the same consequence, but it is how Capote portrayed each one that causes the reader to understand the motive behind the killing of the Clutter family.
In the first part of the novel, we get a glimpse of Perry's life.
Perry ends up in locked up in Kansas State Penitentiary for killing a colored man. He beats the man with a bicycle chain and we never find out what Perry's motive is. We eventually find out that Perry was in and out of orphanages and detention centers. When he was staying with the nuns, he gets beat by one of them for wetting the bed. He also gets beat at the Salvation Army shelter. The abuse that Perry took as a child paved the way for him hurting people almost as a source of attention. As his father drags him across the country, he doesn't get the chance to make friends and this restricts him from living a normal life. His mom abandons him and his siblings, his two siblings commit suicide, and his father never settles in...