He did not believe that Hickock and Smith would be caught in Kansas City. They were invulnerable. (198) The second umbrella, blue and bearing the command Tan with Coppertone,’ sheltered Dick and Perry, who for five days had been living at the Somerset, in a double room renting for eighteen dollars weekly.
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(199) The somber, depressing mood of Dewey sharply contrasts with the bright cheeriness of Dick and Perry who have escaped to Florida. The juxtaposition of these two drastically different moods heightens the suspense of the book to the point of the climax. The intense emotional buildup hints at the final arrest of these criminals.
Simile The sound of Dick’s voice was like an injection of some potent narcotic, a drug that, invading his veins, produced a delirium of colliding sensations: tension and relief, fury and affection. (194) This simile compares Dick’s voice to a drug for Perry, which demonstrates the unique relationship between these two ex-cons. But Perry’s extreme reaction to Dick’s voice also shows the problems between them, namely a lack of trust and understanding and two very different mental worlds, which hints at more arguments to come. Moreover, this display of Perry’s anger reveals the volatile nature of his that his sister talked about. Situational Irony ?I told Dick, There people are telling the truth.
The one who lied is your friend Floyd Wells. There isn’t any safe, so let’s get the hell out of here. But Dick was too ashamed to face it.’ (239) The irony lies in the fact that Dick thought this robbery would be a big score, yet the entire motivation behind the crime, the Clutter’s money-filled safe, turned out to be false, therefore, his whole elaborate scheme was pointless. This situational irony creates an almost comedic effect; Dick is so excited about this robbery, yet they leave with only 50 dollars. However, it emphasizes the tragedy of this crime even more, since the brutal murder of the Clutter’s was only for 50 measly dollars.
Verbal Irony ?I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.'(244) Perry claims that he does not want to hurt Mr. Clutter, yet kills him anyway, which is where the irony is at. This also reflects the meaning of the title: these murders are committed without a guilty conscience, therefore they are committed cold-blooded. This sentence demonstrates where murderers differ from average people, they can say they like someone and then kill them without feeling a conflict of emotions. Symbolism Warm rooms and warm suppers beckoned them, and as they hurried away, leaving the cold square to the two gray cats, the miraculous autumn departed too; the year’s first snow began to fall. (248) The two lonesome cats scavenging for food symbolize Dick and Perry.
Similar to the cats, Dick and Perry are homeless loners in society, struggling to survive off scraps. The season change described in the last sentence is an analogy to how their circumstances, previously bright, is now bleak after finally being caught for their crimes. Question: Why does Dewey not want the public to know about their leads in solving the murder case? Dewey expresses a valid fear that they are chasing the wrong people, for they have followed many dead ends already. He may also think that the killers might hear about their leads and become more careful in their hiding. They only have two sets of footprints as solid evidence, if the murderers hear about the footprints, they would definitely get rid of their shoes as to destroy the only evidence linking them back to the crime scene.
Question: How are Dick and Perry’s different personalities shown through their separate interrogations? Dick appears to be the tougher, more masculine guy. This is shown during the first part of the interrogation, where he is cool, suave, and gave impressive amounts of detail to the detectives of their made up stories. Perry seems to be the weaker link, he is not the smooth talker Dick is, he admitted that the trip to Fort Scott did not happen first. However, ultimately, Dick is selfish and sold Perry out first, despite his claims that he would stick to the story. He also expressed no remorse whatsoever about the murder. This further demonstrates how he does not care about anyone besides himself, not even about his family or Perry.
Perry, on the other hand, did not confess until he learned that Dick has already betrayed him, and admitted to feeling wrong about the murder. This shows how, unlike Dick, Perry still had some conflicting morality and loyalty within his heart, enough that he would not easily buck under pressure for his own selfish gain. This causes readers to feel sorry for Perry more, an effect Capote probably intended.
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