In Cold Blood: a Tale Of Two Different People

August 31, 2022 by Essay Writer

In Cold Blood Literary Analysis

In Cold Blood is the story of a family named the Clutters, and how they all got brutally murdered in their own home. Or is it? The story actually focuses on two different people; Dick and Perry. These men are the ones who murdered the Clutters, and almost got away with it. In Cold Blood tells the tale of these two, and how they got away. But is this not a crime story? Should the book not be about the family, the actually crime, and the criminal’s’ conviction? Well, not necessarily. The story focuses on these two for good reason, for entertainment purposes, practical purposes, and to fill in the unknown blanks about the true crime.

The Clutters die very early on in the story. Only after a few chapters of explanation of who they are, and what they do, they die. But why kill off the subjects of the story so soon? Because, according to the police at the time,”There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there was almost no clues,”(Capote, In Cold Blood). So what story is there to tell about them beforehand? Not much really. That is one of the reasons why the story mainly focuses on Dick and Perry. The Clutters are dead, so the story of Dick and Perry are much more interesting. For example, how they got to the Clutters’ house in the first place. Dick’s old cell mate, Floyd Wells tells him about a secret safe that the Clutters have locked up, full of money. So, Dick grabs up his friends Perry to go snatch the cash up. Later, when Floyd testifies, “He insists that he always liked Mr. Clutter and had no intention of encouraging Dick to rob him.”(Shmoop). He gets away with the reward money for turning Dick and Perry in, even though he was the one who caused the whole crime in the first place. But however in 30 years, “Despite his reward and parole, (Floyd) ends up in prison again for 30 years.”(Schmoop).

The escape of Dick and Perry is actually, quite interesting. Their misadventures provide a very diverse story type, following the villain rather than the more common protagonist of a story. They do things that not normal people would do, like for example, murder an entire family.

Throughout their stories, they get “picked up by a driver — the perfect target for them to murder in order to steal the car.”(CliffsNotes), and they intended to murder him, be eventually, “The driver picks up another hitchhiker in what Perry calls a “goddamn miracle.””(CliffsNotes), so they end up not killing him. They then later picked up “hitchhikers, a boy and an old man,” (Capote, 207). They helped them out by giving them a lift, and they picked up old cans and bottle to later turn in for money. Living life in poverty and being an outlaw is just something people might read. It is much more interesting than exploring to lives of soon to be dead people.

Not much of the crime was revealed at the beginning of the book, in fact, the motive, and many details of the actual crime were not explained until the very end of the book, where the reader would find out about it at the same time as the characters in the book. “Perry and Dick initially get away with the murder, leaving behind scant clues and having no personal connection with the murdered family.”(CliffNotes), was the police’s report at the time. Not even all of the facts in the story are correct, ”Characters in the book denied that certain scenes had taken place and insisted that their conversations had been altered for dramatic effect.”(Shmoop). This shows that this was all just made for entertainment purposes, not to inform those of the murder. The book is not even technically nonfiction. There is a lot of altered language and events present in In Cold Blood. “The lead KBI agent in the last scene claimed it was a total fabrication,”(Shmoop), making it seem like a lot of this book was made up for the sake of a story. Rightfully so, there wasn’t much to begin with.

While the Clutters are very important in the story, their roles in entertainment are not. All of their traits only matter until they die, which happens very early. Following Dick and Perry in the story was a very good choice as a n author, and it really shows that Truman Capote is a really great author. He knows what will make a good story, and what is boring and irrelevant. The Clutters’ purposes in the book is just to die, giving Dick and Perry a story to write about.

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