Critical Essay #1 Summary
This essay discusses the criticism in which this novel is believed to revolve around the realms of nature and nurture as the key ingredient to shaping the lives and characters of people (determinism and fatalism). Perry Smith, one of the main characters in this non-fiction novel highly lends himself as an example of determinism as stated, he held the “potentiality for a constructive life had he not been affected by determinism”. This led on to Capotes sympathetic approaches to Perry, having known his past hood.
However, since this novel was non-fiction, written in journalistic/reportage fashion, it is expected there being an essence of objectivity. From Capote sympathizing with Perry, this bridges the element of bias into his linguistic choice, therefore diminishing the notions of objectivity within this non-fiction novel.
Perry is portrayed as being one of the center characters in the novel. However, he is shown in the light of violent temper, and Capote dedicates a heavy focus upon the trajectory of Perry’s life. As earlier mentioned, Perry Smiths character adheres to the ideals of determinism and that he may have been in fact, a victim of circumstance. However, Kim also mentions that the style in which Perry phased each murder of every clutter member was potentially influenced by key figures in some past traumatic configurations within his life, allowing us to take into consideration that he could’ve been psychologically damaged having schizophrenia. (Journal/Biographical Sketches/Letters).
Perry’s psychological damage reflected upon the notions of diminished capacity and his past hood of abuse and mistreatment. However, his sentence isn’t waivered by the American court (upholds the M’Naghten rule), instead, they continue with his sentencing to death. Kim regards the American justice system with negative criticism since reflecting hypocrisy in many forms. Firstly, the implications that murder is a wrongful act by an...
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