In Cold Blood Bias
In Cold Blood Essay The movie Capote, demonstrates Truman Capote’s uses an overly manipulative interrogation style. Which raised the question: If he can manipulate the people he is interviewing into telling them what he wants, how is he going to manipulate his readers to believe what he wants them to? Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote morphs the story with his biased points of view and overly dramatic word choice which inhibits readers from developing their own opinions and knowing what truly happened that one fateful night in which “four shotgun blasts, all told, ended six human lives” (5).
Capote criticizes Holcomb, Kansas and it’s inhabitants so badly that you walk away with the feeling that it is a podunk town full of idiots. During the opening of the book Capote goes out of his way to make the town feel like it is completely helpless and a deplorable place to live. He rages on and on about how “not much to see”, but despite this he can goes and describes the town in detail (3). He even says, the grain elevators remind him of “graceful Greek temples” which is a great complement for nothing to be seen (3). The fact of the matter is Capote is used to living in New York
In Cold Blood Bias Essay Example
City and is obviously biased against country living. Many people find the long distance views relaxing and most of the town is made up of people who have lived there for most of their lives. He acts as though nothing is as good as the finer things in life, for example he would most likely complain that a bottle of wine being served was not up to his standard. He calls the towns organization an “aimless congregation of buildings” (3). Which is most likely true, but what Capote does not realize is that the buildings are not supposed to be designed in blocks. New York City is designed to ollow a specific pattern.
The streets have blocks and are most often square because they buildings that go into those blocks are square as well. However, all this planning did not Just magically happen over night. It has been years in the making. New York City has its own design that is used to house over “eight million people on 300 square miles of land” (City Planning). As buildings decayed and came down they adjusted roads and shaped things to work better going forward because they knew population growth was going to occur. In Holcomb there is no pressing need to tear own old buildings until they become hazardous.
People build houses along streets because they need quick access to roads during harsh winters. The farmers living outside Holcomb have the machinery to clear their driveways. In most small towns this planning has worked for hundreds of years and cannot simply be reduced to aimless. Aimless means “without purpose or direction” and further than that it acts to portray the townsfolk as idiots for not thinking ahead when they in fact did (Free Dictionary). Capote even tries to convince you that all the people of Holcomb are simple minded fools.
He describes their accent as being “barbed with a prairie twang, and a ranch handed nasalness” (3). This is actually quite rude because he is not saying anything positive at all. Words like barbed, twang, and nasalness all elicit thoughts of annoyance, but for the people of Holcomb it is simply how they talk. He even includes a description of how they pronounce Arkansas, which if you think around the Arkansas River pronounce Arkansas in that way wouldn’t most people agree that that is how it should be pronounced. It’s like going to Italy and telling them theyre pronouncing spaghetti wrong.
Capote tells a girl he wants to interview that he was made fun of for his accent while growing up as a way to gain her trust and how upset it made him. Yet the second he publishes the book he criticizes their accent in a subtle way that is actually quite infuriating to people who have that accent. Capote also attempts to persuade readers that Perry Smith mentally and physically anguished victim that should be exonerated of his part in the murders because of the abuse he suffered on his Journey to adulthood, while unfairly making Dick seem to be the sole mastermind of the crime.
Over the course of the novel we ee flashbacks to Perrys life growing up and even letters sent to him by his family while he was in prison. The spacing of the flashbacks do a great deal to help with eliciting sadness and even forgiveness from the reader. However, if you start marking them every time you see them a pattern develops. It seems as though Perry is constantly having a pity party for himself. Perry says that he “begged to go to school, but the bastard (his father) wouldn’t let him” (185). However, in a letter his father wrote that “Perry went to school as often as possible… ut he didn’t like it very well” (127). This makes me wonder how the hell can someone want to go to school if they do not like it. When I was growing up I never wanted to go to school, especially when I was getting beaten up (Perrys dad said he was too). Perry goes out of his way to display himself as a victim, Just like his sister warned Capote he would. Parents want the best for their children and his father does not seem to be someone who would keep Perry from becoming whatever he could in life.
If his dad did not care about him the way Perry insinuates I cannot even imagine him writing a letter to the jail trying to persuade them that Perry is a changed man. Capote uses as much as he can to paint Perry as a victim. Over and over again the book mentions his need for aspirin to calm the pain in his legs, or how his morals makes what is going on disgust him. This is not a story that chronicles the process and solving of a sudden small town murder, its a story that seeks to make Perry look like a God and have people feel pity for him. The fact is, Perry slit Mr.
Clutter’s throat and killed both Herb and Kenyon Clutter by shooting them in the head with a shotgun. If he had the morals and conscience Capote paints him to have then he couldn’t have run anywhere. He would have turned himself in that night. Perry also, subtlety mentions Dick as the one being the mastermind over and over again in his description of what really happened the night the Clutters were killed. He even mentions that Dick wanted to “bust that little girl” (243). However, only small blurbs of Dick’s confession are found in the book, but Perrys of course receives a whole chapter devoted to it.
This is why Dick is always considered to be the evil mastermind behind the murders. He really has very little influence in the book because next to none of anything he said is used. It is known that Capote spent Just a few hours with Dick during the time he was interviewing the killers, but he spent an immense amount of time with Perry. How can anyone be sure that Perry is telling the truth? Where is the real evidence that Dick was a pedophile? The only two “documented” ones I can find are inside In Cold Blood. The first being the one about Nancy and the second being the time in Miami last several years” (201).
This was most likely said by Perry. All we have is what Capote heard from Perry and then decided to add to the book and not one of them has been positive. The stories of Dick are ones that fill us with disgust and even anger. “Boy! We sure splattered him! ‘ Dick said and it was what he always said after running down a dog, which is something he did whenever the opportunity arose” (112). Now what would Perry have to gain from painting this little picture? Well it shows that Dick has a lust for killing. But how do we know why he killed the dogs, or even if he did in the first place.
Maybe he was putting dogs out of their misery because he could see they were dying or injured. It should never have even been included in the book because it has no relevance to the murder cases. Including it in the book only seeks to further portraying Dick as evil, and help Perry play the innocent role. Finally, he even falsely glorifies Dewey as a model detective who has all the right answers, but if you look into it you can easily tell that it is not true. You may be asking yourself how I could come up with such an outrageous theory, but if you give me a few moments I will prove it to you.
Capote claims that Dewey told his wife about the convict that pointed out Dick as the most likely murderer, which he might have done, but he also remarks that “later that same evening [Mr. Nye was interrogating] nother woman, in another kitchen” (165). This is a complete fabrication, because “according to the KBI documents, the KBI waited five days to visit [Dick’s parents] farmhouse” (Helliker). This undermines Deweys whole brilliant perfect man facade because it shows that he did not rush to the scene to investigate the best lead theyVe had.
An imprisoned convict telling you that another recently released convict actually said that, “him and Perry was gonna go out there and rob the place, and kill all the witnesses” (164). It does not take a brilliant man to realize that is a pretty good lead. Yet Dewey stuck to his own idea that “it was somebody local who had a grudge against Herb Clutterm (Helliker). This surely cannot make him the perfect detective, because he turned down the lead that would solve the case. He might have even saved the Walker family of Talahassee, Florida their own demise exactly 2 weeks later if he had investigated sooner.
Another example of Capote’s misrepresentation of Detective Dewey is found in the latter pages of the book. Capote writes that Dewey believes that, “Smith, though he was the true murderer possessed a quality like an exiled animal, a creature walking wounded” (341). I highly doubt Dewey ever felt this bad for Perry. I suffered child abuse and frankly I believe Perry deserved the sentence he was given (death this is, not death by hanging, I firmly believe that is cruel and unusual punishment).
Abuse suffered as a child should never be an excuse for murder, except in the case of protecting yourself from your abuser. Anything other than that gives people reason to fear those who have suffered as children instead of respecting and trying to help them as they should. If he had developed a debilitating mental condition because of this then it is a completely different story, ut I cannot find much evidence that suggests he has a mental problem that should be used to influence the Jury to a not-guilty verdict.
Perrys psychological examiner states that ” he has a ‘paranoid’ orientation towards the world and an ever-present, poorly controlled rage” (297). After hearing this I doubt Dewey would feel sorry for Perry, he has no debilitating mental illness and though he suffered a lot as a child it doing, what he was getting into, and he had multiple chances to do the right thing, but chose not to do so. Because of this I find it nearly impossible to say that Dewey elt saddened by the person that drove him to have a “[deteriorated] state of mind, smoke sixty cigarettes a day, and become emaciated” (165).
Because of Dick and Perry his wife never felt safe moving out of town and onto their own farm, the children of Holcomb became petrified of their own friends and neighbors, and the world would read this book, a book Truman Capote calls “immaculately factual”, over and over again each time only furthering the idea that Perry was an innocent manipulated pawn in Dick’s master plan (Helliker). It is with this evidence that I must report that he real Detective Alvin Dewey is not the man we read in this book. He is not the brilliant model detective with all the right answers.
He was simply the lead detective on the Clutter Murders and nothing more. The countless examples of biased stories and false facts’ clearly show that this novel, while recounting an actual event, is actually a poor attempt by a writer to make sure all his readers feel the exact same way he does about the topic at hand. “Mr. Dewey said that the treatment people received in Mr. Capote’s book depended on whether he liked them. “l was the luckiest,” Mr. Dewey said” (Helliker). I would say hat Dewey bought his favoritism by sending him Nancy’s diary, and allowing him first dibs on any information he needed.