The Author's Biases In Into The Wild And In Cold Blood

1257 words - 6 pages

Everyday we observe people’s contrasting opinions. Whether it be in politics, school, or in one’s personal life, emotions are often a major factor when it comes to expressing one’s ideas. In writing, an audience must be aware this, and decide for themselves if an author is being bias or equally representing all sides to a situation. In both Into the Wild and In Cold Blood, the authors form distinct opinions about their main characters and believe family structure heavily influenced their future.
Truman Capote forms a close relationship with convicted murderer, Perry Smith, and allows his own personal perception of Perry to influence his story. Capote repeatedly puts emphasis on the fact that ...view middle of the document...

Capote furthermore fashions the image of Perry in a way that is relatable to the audience. The feeling of abandonment an emotion easily relatable to and Capote recalls the time when “[Perry’s] dad wouldn’t help [him]. He told [him] to be good and hugged [him] and went away” (152). The choppiness of the sentences used creates the quality of natural speech and that Perry is struggling to talk through his emotions. Also included in the story are three of Perry’s personal documents; his father’s letter which talks about Perry’s life from his point of view; Perry’s own notes about his life; and his sister’s letter, where she asserts Perry “can seem so warm hearted and sympathetic. Gentle. He cries so easy” (182). Capote prioritizes Perry’s family background over Dicks, and the audience, therefore, can develop a deeper connection with Perry. Capote attempts to place the blame on Perry’s parents and upbringing, portraying Perry as the victim who had been hurt all his life by other people and “maybe it’s just that the Clutter’s had to pay for it” (209).
Capote juxtaposes Perry’s harsh background with that of the Clutters, who were the typical all-American family that did everything right. The Clutters were an honest, loving family that everyone in Holcomb knew and “that family represented everything people hereabouts really value and respect” (88). The people of Holcomb described the Clutters as the American Dream, and the fact that a family of such sincere people could be taken so easily adds to the suspense of the story. Herb Clutter is depicted as a generous employer, an active churchgoer and a “die hard community booster” (21). His wife, Bonnie Clutter is a slim, apologetic woman who suffers from chronic depression. Their daughter, Nancy, is the president of her class, and a leader in a number of community clubs/activities. Her brother, Kenyon, is said to have been more solitary, spending most of his time in the basement workshop or in his pickup truck with his best friend. However, since the members of the family are deceased, Capote never is able to get personal interviews from the members of the Clutter family and the descriptions stop there. Capote purposefully detaches himself from this section of the story, allowing the only sense of sympathy come from those who personally knew the Clutters. Because Capote is not able to form a personal relationship with any members of the Clutter family, he simply chooses to briefly explain the family’s murder and shift his attention to the murderers instead. The Clutters all-American image could not rescue them from tragedy and instead of portraying the family as victims, Capote focuses on attempting to encourage the audience to remain optimistic on their views regarding the family’s murderers.

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