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In Cold Blood

By cfoster40 Aug 05, 2013 1314 Words
"My acquaintances are many, my friends are few; those who really know me fewer still."

Many people all over the world have live a troubled life. Their past experiences may have driven them to do things that they never intended to do. But the outside world is always looking down on them without even knowing what has led them to doing what they have done. Throughout his novel, In Cold Blood, Capote tells the reader of Perry Smith’s past to make the reader feel sorry for Perry, as is evident in the following discussion. To better understand how the author conveyed this, one must examine Perry’s dream, his life in the Detention Home, and his relationship with this father and his mother. People can learn a lot about a person by simply looking at what someone’s dreams consist of. In, In Cold Blood, Capote tells the reader about Perry’s dream through his point of view. "What it comes down to is I want the diamonds more than I'm afraid of the snake. So I go to pick one, I have the diamond in my hand, I'm pulling at it, when the snake lands on top of me. We wrestle around, but he's a slippery sonofabitch and I can't get a hold, he's crushing me, you can hear my legs cracking...he starts to swallow me. Feet first. Like going down in quicksand.”

Capote writes what Perry describes to him. The reader can see that Perry has stumbled upon something he desires very much. He talks about how he has found a diamond tree but a snake is guarding it. He has to make a choice, the diamonds or the snake. Capote added this to the book to help change the reader’s feelings about Perry because it shows that Perry cannot get what he wants without betting hurt. Another way Capote makes the audience feel sorry for Perry is telling of the bird in his dream. This can be seen in the conversation between Dick and Perry.

“It was after one of these beatings, one he could never forget. (“She woke me up. She had a flashlight, and she hit me with it. Hit me and hit me. And when the flashlight broke, she went on hitting me in the dark”), that the parrot appeared, arrived while he slept, a bird “taller than Jesus, yellow like a sunflower,” a warrior-angle who blinded the nuns with its beak, fed upon their eyes, slaughtered them as they “pleaded for mercy,” then so gently lifted him, enfolded him, winged him away to “paradise.”” (Capote 93)

In this passage Perry is telling dick of how he was beaten by the nuns and no one was there to save him. Then one night a parrot came and became his savior and flew him away to safety. The author put this in the book because it shows how Perry didn’t have anyone there for him and he dreamed for something to fly down and take him away from his troubles. Not only did Truman Capote use Perry’s dream to cause the reader feel sorry for Perry but he also added his life in the Detention Homes. In this passage the reader can find Perry talking of his bed wetting problems.

“I was in & out of Detention Homes many times for running away from home & stealing. I remember one place I was sent to. I had weak kidneys & wet the bed every night. This was very humiliating to me, but I couldn't control myself. I was very severely beaten by the cottage mistress, who had called me names and made fun of me in front of all the boys. She used to come around at all hours of the night to see if I wet the bed. She would throw back the covers & furiously beat me with a large black leather belt - pull me out of bed by my hair & drag me to the bathroom & throw me in the tub & turn the cold water on & tell me to wash myself and the sheets.” (Capote 275)

Hear Perry tells of how he was treated very harshly for a problem he could not even control. Capote added this to show how even medical problems lead Perry to getting beat and humiliated, even something medically wrong with Perry lead to a night time full of beatings. Another way Capote tugged at the heart strings of the readers is by describing what else went on in that Detention Home. Here Perry tells of how beatings were not the only punishment he received for wetting the bed.

“Every night was a nightmare. Later on she thought it was very funny to put some ointment on my penis. This was almost unbearable. It burned something terrible. She was later discharged from her job. But this never changed my mind about her & what I could have done to her & all the people who made fun of me.” (Capote 275)

Here Perry describes of how he was touched and harmed in his private area because the mistress found it funny. Truman Capote added this to the book to show that sometimes the humiliation and pain, towards Perry was taken so far as being sexually assaulted by someone who was supposed to be there to help get his life back on track. The third and final way that Truman Capote made the readers feel sorry for Perry was telling of the relationship of Perry and his parents. The first way can be seen when Perry talks of how he witness his father beating his mother.

“I remember my mother was "entertaining" some sailors while my father was away. When he came home a fight ensued, and my father, after a violent struggle, threw the sailors out & proceeded to beat my mother. I was frightfully scared, in fact all us children were terrified. Crying. I was scared because I thought my father was going to hurt me, also because he was beating my mother. I really didn't understand why he was beating her but I felt she must have done something dreadfully wrong. . . .”

Here Perry is talking about his life as a young boy. He tells of how his mother was caught with other men and how his father started to beat her. Perry was too young to understand why this was happening but he still knew he should be scared. The author added this to show how Perry’s life had been filled with anger and violence since he was old enough to remember. Capote also used the relationship between Perry and his parents to make you feel sorry for Perry by telling how his mother was not really there. This can be found in a description that Perry gives about his life.

“My mother was always drunk, never in a fit condition to properly provide and care for us. I run as free & wild as a coyote. Their was no rule or discipline, or anyone to show me right from wrong I came & went as I pleased – until my first encounter with Trouble.”

Perry talks about how his mother was not able to love and be there for her children. Capote added this to show how Perry’s drunk mother lead him to a childhood of being a delinquent. In, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote tells of Perry Smith’s Past to make the reader feel sorry for Perry. Capote was successful in doing this be telling of the dream Perry had as a young boy, his experiences in the Detention Homes, and Perry’s relationship with his parents. The reader can see that this young man had a rough life and many terrible things happened in it. Just think about this, what terrible decisions would you have made if you childhood was as terrible as this man’s?

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