The Author's Biases in Into the Wild and In Cold Blood

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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 Perry comes from a troubled background and portrays him as a victim rather than a murderer. Perry confesses to a night he “remembers [his] mother was 'entertaining' some sailors while [his] father was away.... And [his] father, after a violent struggle, threw the sailors out and proceeded to beat [his] mother. [He] was frightfully scared" (265). Capote includes Perry’s recollections of his abusive father and alcoholic mother to evoke sympathy from the audience and further stress Perry’s general demeanor of innocence. Capote also chooses to highlight Perry’s horrific experience of when “[his] mother put [him] to stay in a Catholic orphanage. The one where the Black Widows were always at [him]. Hitting [him]. Because of wetting the bed” (152). In this section Capote incorporates short, emotionless sentences to emphasize the terrible conditions that Perry succumbed to at the orphanage. Capote also describes the nuns by using the metaphor “black widows” to further grow the audience’s caring feelings towards Perry. As the color black is usually as...

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...therefore able to push McCandless’s death on his family’s shoulders.

When reading any literary work, the audience should be conscience of an author’s personal opinion being thrown in. In Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer is able to easily relate to McCandless and therefore freely expresses his opinion throughout the novel. In contrast, Truman Capote is capable to from an intimate relationship with convicted murderer, Perry Smith, and is unable to with the deceased Clutter family. This results in a novel that is heavily sympathetic towards Perry when arguable it should be for the Clutters instead. Regardless of the story, both authors express a dominant belief that family structure played a role in the fate of the characters.


Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. New York: Random House. 1965.

Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print.

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