In Cold Blood/Picture of Dorian Gray: Redemption

In Cold Blood/Picture of Dorian Gray: Redemption

What does it imply to be Redeemed? Trevor Jordan 5-21-11 Lampa Redemption is a black and white topic, one can either achieve it or stop working and hold on to their troubled past for life. Redemption is when one admits to and repents for their bad deeds and really regrets, then that individual does a kindness to counteract the bad one and evens out their life’s “score”. Truman Capote and Oscar Wilde demonstrate that the characters in their books do not achieve redemption due to the fact that they do not take the required actions to be redeemed.

In Capote’s In Cold Blood, Penis Hickock and Perry Smith devoted a quadruple murder in Holcomb Kansas; they have been caught and now are sitting in death row awaiting their final day. Now Cock and Perry could not perform a kind deed to counteract their bad one because they have been decaying in prison awaiting their sentence for 5 years, but they might have done something else.

They could have stopped extending their inescapable death “why haven’t Smith and Hickock got it in the neck, how come they are still consuming the taxpayers’ cash” (page 335) by owning up to their action and accepting their punishment and apologizing seriously for the crime. But Hickock fought the capital punishment “I think in hanging. Just so long as I’m not the one being hanged” (page 336) for 3 years prior to he and Smith were sentenced to death. Neither one of them asked forgiveness truly for the murder, Cock was making jokes about passing away to prison pal Andy before he will be hung.

Dick said to him “I’ll be seeing you soon … So scout around and see if you can’t discover a cool shady area for us Down There” as if he might care less about what he did and he will make no effort to set things right in his life. Also the way in which Penis acted prior to he was hung, he stated “You people are sending me to a much better world than this one was” and he shook the hands of the men that had actually tracked him down and with a smile on his face saying “Good to see you” (page 339).

Dick did not redeem himself. He did not initially come clean that he contributed to the murder of the Mess, he did not apologize for his crime and he did not do anything significant to offset the murders. Perry did not achieve redemption either because he was a coward. Prior to Perry faced the gallows he said sorry and he was genuine, “It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even unsuitable. However I do. I ask forgiveness. (page 340) it was improper; however it indicated something to him and it cleared his conscience. It may have indicated something to the Clutter family (although not a single member of the family was there) but it was unsuitable since it came so late. Perry was a coward since he did not wish to accept his penalty that he should have, he tried to get out with a “bogus hunger routine” (page 335) as Penis explains it (Perry attempted to starve himself to death so he wouldn’t be hanged).

Perry did decline his penalty and face the gallows with self-respect, he attempted to starve himself, he did refrain from doing any deed to offset his bad one and his apology came at an inappropriate time; for that reason one can securely state that Perry did not redeem himself. In Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray guaranteed his soul to live a vibrant life; what happens is that as time goes by his portrait looks older and shows the choices he has actually made in his life while his body remains as the day it was posturing for the picture.

Wilde doesn’t believe one can be redeemed; he uses the picture of Dorian to demonstrate this. Throughout his life Dorian has caused the death of 3 people and his own self destruction. Dorian aborted the engagement with his fiancee due to the fact that she stopped her acting profession, Sibyl Vane eliminated herself due to the fact that she enjoyed him so much. Dorian also blackmailed a former friend of his Allen Campbell which caused him committing suicide. Dorian killed his previous buddy Basil also since he “painted that portrait that marred his life” (page 162).

And Dorian used opiates during his life; all of these acts are seen in his ever changing portrait, as it becomes older and more decrepit. Dorian could not be redeemed because he wouldn’t confess to and repent for his actions “was he actually to admit? Never” (page 164), he was a coward like Perry. He understood it “was his responsibility to admit, to suffer public shame, and to make public satisfaction” (page 163) however he could not bring himself to do it. He didn’t feel sorry either for the part he played in their deaths, “Basil had actually said things that were unbearable … the murder had actually been merely the madness of the minute.

Alan Campbell, his suicide had actually been his own act, it was nothing to him”, despite the fact that he blackmailed his friend and he eliminated his good friend. He did not take responsibility he blamed the scenarios or the truth that it was suicide. He did not see his hand in any of the deaths. Dorian questioned the truth if he could change his method (and for that reason the image of his picture) and tried to do a kindness. When Dorian considered his picture after he made a guarantee to be an excellent and moral individual, he wanted to see an altered image, one that would resemble his physical image.

What he saw was “more pesky than even in the past” (page163), his picture was even uglier. This is how Wilde reveals that Dorian can not redeem himself since his portrait (his soul) kept worsening and even worse. His bad deeds would stain his soul forever and could not be removed in spite of his attempt to eliminate them with a promise to lead an excellent life. Redemption is hard to accomplish, it can be a long and difficult roadway or a heroic deed that alters one’s image from wicked to good. However, redemption usually comes with a heavy price and that is dealing with those who have actually been wronged by the evil doer.

To look them in the eye and sincerely say sorry is extremely hard as seen in the lives of all 3 characters 2 of them couldn’t do it. Then having the ability to do a deed sufficient to offset what evil one has done shown to be beside impossible for the characters in this book since they all devoted murders. Lots of people think that there is absolutely nothing one can do to redeem a murder unless the killer dies, which occurred in to each character and I agree with this statement. But these characters did not fulfill the other elements of the definition, therefore they are not redeemed.

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