In Cold Blood

Essay by michelle923University, Bachelor'sA, November 2014

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SOCY 341 Section 02

September 20, 2012

In Cold Blood, is a book written by Truman Capote detailing the brutal 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a successful farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, his wife, and two of their four children. Herbert Clutter married his college classmate's sister, Bonnie, she is described as "timid, pious, delicate, and is three years younger than him" (pg. 6). Together they had four children, two older daughters who had moved out and Nancy and Kenyon. Herbert's large property, River Valley Farm, keeps him moderately wealthy, he started with little and with time he was able to build up a large successful farm. Herbert is also a community leader, involved with many organizations and he is a gentle man and a strict Methodist. His wife Bonnie on the other hand cannot keep up with his public image as a leader and she withdraws into the home.

She suffers from depressive mental disorders and spends a great deal of time in bed. The youngest daughter, Nancy, is "the darling" of the town, a class president and future prom queen. Like her father, she is very organized. Kenyon, Herbert's only son is an awkward fifteen year old who loves to tinker with carpentry and machines.

The guys held responsible for the murder of the Clutter family are Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Perry is a short man, with a large torso but small legs. His legs were badly injured in a motorcycle accident. He wants very much to be educated and he considers himself quite intelligent and artistic. His childhood was lonely and disorganized. His criminal record seems to be a natural extension of the strange environments in which he grew up. Perry's parents' divorced when he was very young and he went to stay with his...