Use Of Imagery In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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In the best-selling novel, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote uses juxtaposition to sympathize with Perry while bringing to light Dick’s more irritable side. Capote’s unique style is present through his vivid imagery which highlights the drive of each murderer and his symbolism to represent the unexpected toughness of Perry and Dick’s escape. Also, Capote utilizes flashbacks and specific dialogue and thoughts to show how each man perceives the other. These techniques, along with many others, further characterize the murderers, as more than just blood-thirsty criminals.
Capote sets the scene by including Dick’s and Perry’s similar observation of Mexico. As the two men stop to rest while traveling in Mexico, they both immediately notice the “Mountains”
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As the men stop to rest, they both notice “hawks wheeling in a white sky” (Capote 110). Hawks usually find their prey by circling around above them and then suddenly diving in for the kill. Capote uses these birds to represent the police, as they are slowly waiting to find the men and once they do they will snatch them up. Dick and Perry both notice these birds in the scene just like they both are completely aware of the police searching for them, and Perry more specifically, believes that they are going to get caught. Another symbol Capote uses is Dick’s observation of Perry’s “dark glasses-fancy ones with silver-lacquered rims and mirrored lenses” (Capote 109), making it impossible to know if Perry is looking at him. These glasses are a perfect example of Perry’s attitude, very dolled up at first but actually really tough and hard. Perry is forced to lie to Dick about killing someone to get on his good side just like the glasses have many fancy features, but once his true self is revealed, Perry is very tough, evil, and most importantly unpredictable. Dick is unable to see Perry’s eyes, the one thing that hints at how he is feeling, making Perry a ticking time bomb. Another thing both men observe is a dog walking down the street, however they both have different views of it. Perry notices that the dog is an “old half-dead mongrel” (Capote 112), immediately sympathizing with, and allowing his compassion to come through, as it did the night of the murder. Although built up very tough, Perry still has a little bit of compassion left, feeling bad for the victims of these horrid crimes. Dick, however, sees the dog as a way to direct his anger and annoyance with Perry’s attitude into an activity. Dick runs over the dog , exclaiming “Boy! We sure splattered him!” (Capote 113), showing his more sick, twisted side. The dog represents an escape for Dick, violence, a place where he can get away from reality. However, this escape is

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