Mental illness in 'In Cold Blood'

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  • Mental illness
    • Introduction
      • Capote presents that mental illness affects one's thoughts and actions
        • Such as why D and Perry committed their crime
        • Mental illnesses can have a prominent influence on behaviour
      • During this time, extreme stigma and fear existed surrounding mental illness.
        • People with mental illnesses were considered to be ‘imbeciles’ ‘idiots’ or ‘lunatics'.
        • There was no incentive to cure mental illnesses as they weren't 'serious' - people were sent to asylums which weren't effective.
        • This was as a result of ignorance.
      • Capote presents his political views: that the death penalty was wrong - Perry wasn't in the right mental state.
      • Capote personally faced struggles with his mental health.
        • His nerves were rattled after he wrote the novel.
        • His already high use of alcohol and drugs worsened.
        • His alcoholism destroyed his 35-year relationship with Jack Dunphy.
        • Capote later died due to health issues linked to his addiction in the 80s.
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    • Extract 1: The Clutters (P6-7)
      • The Clutters to Capote represent the reality: that mental illness was more common than thought.
        • Even a member from a 'perfect', American Dream achieving family suffers from a mental illness.
      • Bonnie Clutter experienced Postpartum-depression.
      • Attitudes towards mental illness were negative, no one really understood, the severity of mental illnesses were often belittled.
        • We can see this through the reaction of society - her mental illness is described as being 'nervous' and that she experienced 'little spells'.
      • As a result of Bonnie's depression, she was receiving treatrment.
        • This is ineffective - Bonnie isolates herself from her household and experiences mental breakdowns.
          • Shows lack of research done into this field.
          • The severity was belittled?


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