In Cold Blood Illuminating Incident Essay - 1

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In Cold Blood Illuminating Incident Essay

In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood the illuminating scene comes in part three of the book known as “The Answer”. This scene represents the climax of the novel as Capote finally divulges the reason for the murders of the Clutter family and reveals that it wasn’t just a senseless murder like it was made out to be.

This chapter details the confession of Perry Smith to the murders of the Clutter family. Capote writes this chapter in the present tense which serves to highlight its importance as the rest of the novel was written in the past tense with Capote serving as a narrator. Up to this point in the story it was never revealed why Perry and Dick Hickock, the other murderer, actually killed the Clutters and Capote made use of this buildup of suspense to keep the reader enthralled and interested in the book. The revelation in this chapter is the climax of the novel as it finally resolves the mystery of the Clutter murders and ultimately allows Perry and Dick to be brought to justice.

This scene also connects to two of the book’s main themes: religion and nature vs. nurture. Perry and Dick’s characters represent both of these themes. The argument of nature vs. nurture is the debate between people’s innate instincts and personal experiences and how they affect their lives. This theme presents itself in Perry’ character because he often considered himself sophisticated and educated which represented his nature and the question became: “Had Perry grown up in a more nurtured environment, would he still have committed the murders?” If Perry had a more nurtured upbringing on top of his natural instincts he probably could have made something of himself and lived a happy life but instead he took a turn for the worst. Dick Hickock, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of this theme. His character represents someone who grew up in a nurtured environment but his instincts lead him down the same path as Perry....
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