In Cold Blood
An analysis of the language, ideas, and beliefs presented in pages 170-210
By: Ethan Jones, Edith Cortez, Daniel Diaz, & Stephanie Hernandez
Summary of the Text
In this set of pages Dick and Perry believe themselves to be away from the law. They are leaving to Mexico and feel free. Dewey seems exhausted and the reader doubts that Dick and Perry will be caught. However, a man hears the radio description of the murders and recognizes the set-up as Dick and Perry's plan, and reports them to the police.
Dick and Perry
This set of pages contained many interesting passages. Some of these include:
"Dick was awake. He was rather more than that; he and Inez were making love... Perry, though disapproving, has acquiesced, but if they imagined that their conduct stimulated him, or seemed to him anything other than a 'nuisance,' they were wrong. Nevertheless, Perry felt sorry for Inez. She was such a 'stupid kid'-- she really believed that Dick meant to marry her, and had no idea he was planning to leave Mexico that very afternoon."
This passage was very interesting because we at once see the brutish attitude of Dick and the clinical attitude of Perry. Dick not only thinks it fine to sleep with a woman who he has no intention to marry, he does it in front of another person. Perry, however, is not fazed - he seems completely uninterested in the ordeal. This brings back the point that Dick makes at the beginning of the novel, that Perry really has no conscience and it allows him to be a truly cold-blooded killer.
"Dewey and the eighteen men assisting him has pursued hundred of leads to barren destinations, and she hoped to warn him against another disappointment, for she was worried about his health. His state of mind was bad; he was emaciated; and he was smoking sixty cigarettes a day...'Think of him,' she said, placing a finger against the front-view portrait of the blond young man. 'Think of those eyes. Coming toward you.' Then she pushed the pictures back into their envelope. 'I wish you hadn't shown me.'"
This passage shows us the debilitating effect the case has on Dewey and the natural repulsion people have for Dick. Dewey is described as emaciated, as if the case is draining the life from him. This is supported by Marie's reaction to the photos; if she is so immediately affected by the photos, it should not surprise us to see Dewey's suffering.
"They looked to him like 'O.K. boys.' The taller of the two, a wiry type with dirty-blond, crew-but hair, had an engaging grin and a polite manner, and his partner, the 'runty' one, holding a harmonica in his right hand and, in his left, a swollen straw suitcase, seemed 'nice enough,' shy but amiable. In any event, Mr. Bell, entirely unaware of his guests' intentions, which included throttling him with a belt and leaving him, robbed of his car, his money, and his life, concealed in a prairie grave, was glad to have company, somebody to talk to and keep him a wake until he arrived at Omaha."
Truman Capote does this often in this book. He writes in a conversational manner about things absolutely horrifying, and it emphasizes the cruelty with which Dick and Perry exercised their murders, and the innocence of the people around them.
Word Watching Isn't As Fun As Bird Watching
These are some words that stuck out to us as readers:
1. Indebted (pg. 170)
2. Necessitating (pg. 172)
3. Leisurely (pg. 177)
4. Footy (pg. 184)
5. Bewildered (pg. 187)
6. Actorish (pg. 189)
7. Ruination (pg. 191)
8. Ascertained (pg. 192)
9. Corroborated (pg. 192)
10. Parole (pg. 202)
How does the relationship between Dick and Perry changed throughout the novel?
Is Perry truly a cold-blooded killer?
Are killers born, or are they made?
How does the conversational manner in which Truman Capote writes affect the tone of the book?