Rakshitha Mohankumar 11-16-12 AP English Language Period 3 Timed Writing: In Cold Blood Option C In part three of Capote’s In Cold Blood, the book gives a more clear understanding of how Perry and Dick came to know of the Clutters and earned their “score”. It has detailed excerpts from interviews with Floyd Wells, Dick’s friend from prison who is also the same person who tells him everything he needs to know about the Clutters, as well as, Mr and Mrs. Hickock, Dick’s parents who are worried for their son and concerned about his whereabouts.
The author was able to create and portray a good amount of sympathy for Dick’s parents by making them appear poor and gentle as well as by how they speak about their son, and are willing to forgive him for his mistakes. In creating sympathy for the parents, the author also indirectly creates some sympathy for Dick by using certain quotes, by Mr. Hickock, that describe his life before he went into prison. There are many ways in which Truman Capote portrays sympathy for the Hickocks in this section. He uses interviews from the locals who live around where Dick’s family lives.
When Officer Nye investigates the nearby folks, one farmer’s wife tells him,“Don’t talk to me about Dick Hickock! If ever I met the devil! [… ] Dick would’ve gone to jail more times than you can count, except nobody around here ever wanted to prosecute out of respect for his folks. ” Essentially, she is trying to say that although Dick gets into plenty of trouble, no one ever really says anything about it, out of kindness to his parents, who are “both plain and honest people. ” Capote also uses certain phrases and quotes that stand out to the reader, which in turn evokes sympathy, from the interview with Dick’s parents themselves. He wanted to go on to college. Study to be an engineer . But we couldn’t do it. Plain didn’t have the money. Never have had any money. ” The fact that they are not a rich and well-off family is made clear when Mr. Hickock says that he couldn’t afford to send his son to college. This also is an indication of how Dick’s life would have turned out to be different than what it was currently, if he had gone to college. Both Dick’s parents never really blame their son for his faults. Rather, they blame it on someone or something else. “That friend of his. That’s what happened” is what Mrs.
Hickock tells Officer Nye, implying that Perry is the one who was at fault for all the mishaps that Dick had been burdened with. They are typical parents, painting their son in perfect light, and thinking that in no way is he at fault, instead, only badly influenced. The author, by creating sympathy for the parents also creates sympathy for Dick and makes him seem more human. He uses a quote from Dick’s father “I’ve not got long, I’m with cancer, and Dick knowed that, and not a month ago, right before he took off, he told me, ‘Dad, you’ve been a pretty good old dad to me.
I’m not ever gonna do nothing more to hurt you. ‘[… ] That boy has plenty of good inside of him. ” In the first two parts of the book, Dick is known to have cared for his family and this just elaborates on that fact. It humanizes Dick and makes him more compassionate. It shows that he is wary of how he has upset his parents and that he is not deliberately hurting them. The aforementioned quote also makes the reader sympathize for the father because it states that he has cancer and knows he is not going to live long.
Adding in a disease or illness of sorts always has some sentimental effect on the reader and the author must have chosen this particular quote for that purpose. One last quote that stood out as a form of sympathy for Dick’s parents is “Ashamed and afraid. Of what he’s done. Of how he’s hurt us again. And afraid because he thinks we won’t forgive him. Like we always have. And always will. ” This quote is from Mrs. Hickock and it signifies a parent’s, or more specifically, a mother’s love for her child. As Dick’s parents, they are always willing to forgive him no matter how many mistakes he has made or how badly he has hurt them.
He is their son and it shows that, no matter what kind of a person he turned out to be, they have and always will love him and be there for him. This creates sympathy, more for Dick’s parents rather than Dick himself, because it signifies that they are good, loving, and caring parents who see past the faults and errors of their children. There are a few people who might say Dick is “undeserving” of such loving and kind-hearted people for parents. These are just a few outstanding ways in which Truman Capote portrayed sympathy for Mr and Mrs. Hickock.
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