The Development of Humans Is Influenced by Their Circumstances
There are both poor and wealthy people in the world and their lifestyles are as dissimilar as their bank balances. People with less money are more inclined towards negativity than those with more money and that is because the less fortunate yearn for what the rich take for granted. Some are so desperate to achieve the same luxuries in life as an wealthy being that they might go to any extent. Poor circumstances brings out malevolent qualities in people that a luxurious life might prevent. In Cold Blood by Capote Truman tells the story of a family being murdered without any specific reason. It highlights the truth that most times, not always, poverty leads people to act in inhuman ways which a life filled with riches might not. Money gives access to the world and those without it behave in violent, cruel ways to attain it while the rich don’t, for they are already filled with it. This essay will qualify the Roman poet, Horace’s, quote “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”
Almost everyone experiences a desire for power, in other words, money, at least once in their life if not continuously, especially the lower class. In part 2 “Persons Unknown” of In Cold Blood, Perry tells his friend, Dick, “It was buried there back in 1821 — Peruvian bullion, jewelry. Sixty million dollars — that’s what they say it’s worth. Even if we didn’t find all of it, even if we found only some of it…” Perry is making plans with Dick to go to South America and get all this riches to which Dick agreed upon for he is money hungry. By Perry suggesting they travel to South America to get money it shows his inability to be independent, instead he relies on Dick as a support system, which Dick takes advantage of and feeds his urge to get quick profit. Dick doesn’t want to work for money, he wants it the easiest way possible and so uses Perry’s disadvantage to acquire his desires. People like Dick might go to extreme measures to obtain wealth while others don’t, however, anyone with less money try to achieve it nonetheless, though the methods might vary.
While Richard, Dick, had a decent upbringing, Perry, on the other hand, experienced the cruel side of life. Perry gives a description of his younger life in which he says “Six of us riding in an old truck, sleeping in it, too, sometimes, living off mush and Hershey kisses and condensed milk.” Perry did not have a home, rather he shared a trailer with his many siblings and consumed junk in place of real food. However, Dick grew up in a loving family where both of his parents were present and received a good education up to high school. By Perry always being on the misfortune side of life, his need for luxury and an adequateness developed his personality or the person he grew up to be. People like Perry who are born into poverty see life as a survival game in which they have to go to any means just to stay alive. Perspectives and circumstances such as this, most times if not always, leads to detrimental outcomes.
Not having enough puts pressure on making ends meet or acquiring enough to live a worry-free life which can steer one towards mental instability. In the start of the book, it seems as though Perry and Dick are both ruthless killers, however, a little bit into the story and it makes the reader question whether both of them are heartless or just one. Dick is a vicious killer and feels no remorse for taking human lives. Perry, however, is a different case. The books states “When Smith attacked Mr. Clutter he was under a mental eclipse, deep inside a schizophrenic darkness (Page 302).” Perry was not in control of his actions when he attacked Mr. Clutter, he was not in the right mind to differentiate right from wrong, so his illness brought out the evil in him. Although mental illness is not the most popular reason for committing crimes, it is a reason for criminal behaviors and should be considered more often. Perry being unable to control himself led him to hurt Mr. Clutter although he was fond of the man.
Poverty compels one to act in brutal ways to acquire wealth as opposed to one already residing in it. Living in less can make it difficult for one to be just so grateful, at one point or another, they’ll yearn for more and getting it might become their mission, whatever way possible. The best way to teach humans to be content with what they have and not be greedy is through education from an early age. Malala Yousafzai accurately puts it as “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.”
© 2019 Megh