In In Cold Blood, what is the significance of Perry singing the song 'In the Garden'?

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The decidedly unreligious Perry Smith is depicted as singing the popular religious song, ‘In the Garden’ on the night when he is to commit a shocking multiple murder. Capote has his reasons for including this particular detail at this point in the story.

Throughout the text Capote portrays Perry as a complex character who does not deserve to be written off purely as a cold and callous killer. Without making any direct attempt to excuse Perry’s actions, Capote confronts the reader with a picture of a sensitive and even sympathetic character to some extent. We are frequently referred to Perry’s grim background of poverty and abuse and extreme neglect, a factor that cannot be ignored in any discussion of his crimes. Along with this, Capote makes a point of stressing Perry’s better qualities, most of all his...

(The entire section contains 441 words.)

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