In Cold Blood Questions and Answers

In Cold Blood

Perry, 3 physical traits: 1. Perry has small, deformed legs and a muscular upper body as a result of a motorcycle accident. 2. He is bi-racial, half Irish and half Cherokee Indian. 3. He has...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2009, 4:30 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Willie-Jay is a friend of Perry's who is being released from Kansas State Penitentiary. Willie-Jay is described as "a slender Irishman with prematurely gray hair and gray, melancholy eyes." He is...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2017, 11:15 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

While on the run, Dick and Perry head south from Kansas City to Oklahoma on the 21st of November, and two days later, they cross the border into Mexico at Laredo, Texas. At this stage of their...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2018, 1:01 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

In his groundbreaking "nonfiction novel," Truman Capote expresses an opinion about capital punishment implicitly rather than explicitly. One way in which Capote expresses his disapproval of the...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2020, 1:14 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

It seems to me that the two main themes of In Cold Blood are the very old and traditional theme of crime and punishment and the more modern theme that nobody is safe anymore in our modern world. As...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2014, 7:58 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

Al Dewey is asked to head the investigation into the Clutter case, which Capote describes as an “intricate ... apparently motiveless, [and] all but clueless” crime. Dewey was not only qualified as...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2020, 8:33 pm (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

When the Clutter family members are murdered, the town of Holcomb reacts in a way that might surprise observers. Before the murders happened, the tiny town of Holcomb, Kansas was a remarkably...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2019, 5:25 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

The decidedly unreligious Perry Smith is depicted as singing the popular religious song, ‘In the Garden’ on the night when he is to commit a shocking multiple murder. Capote has his reasons for...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2013, 5:43 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

As Truman Capote spent time with the two murderers, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, he developed relationships with the men, which enabled him to gain insights into their motives for killing the...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2019, 8:50 pm (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

In a letter that Perry Smith's father writes to get him released from the Kansas State Penitentiary, he describes Perry's only remaining relative (besides himself) as a sister called Bobo, who...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2016, 9:23 pm (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood tells the cold-blooded story of two cold-blooded killers in a rather cold-blooded way, thanks to the omniscient third-person narration. In Capote's hands, this style of writing is...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2018, 12:19 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

Early in Chapter 2 of In Cold Blood, titled "Persons Unknown," Capote reveals his attitude towards Perry and Dick's relationship with these three lines of dialogue: "Perry, baby,” Dick said, “you...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2019, 3:29 pm (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

Truman Capote employs two very different writing approaches when describing the Clutter family, who are the innocent victims of Dick and Perry, and when describing Dick and Perry, the perpetrators...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2019, 11:27 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Alvin Dewey from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation wants to be meticulous in conducting the investigation of the brutal murders of the Clutter family. He also has a personal stake because he knew...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2020, 10:13 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

I'd say that Dick and Perry are both guilty. We can argue that one or the other is "more" guilty than the other, but if we look at guilt as an absolute state (without gradation) we have to say that...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2012, 3:49 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

In the book In Cold Blood, author Truman Capote shows sympathy for Perry Smith, one of the two killers of the Clutter family in rural Kansas in the 1960s, in a number of places. This includes...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2020, 7:38 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Although possessing the literary structure and techniques of a novel, In Cold Blood is actually a nonfiction work by Truman Capote published in 1966. It describes the murders of Herbert "Herb"...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2019, 2:09 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

Perry's possessions indicate that he lives in a fantasy world. He imagines himself as a songwriter and a singer/guitarist, though he doesn't try to develop whatever musical talent he might possibly...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2019, 8:06 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Agent Dewey is perusing Nancy Clutter's diary in search of clues that might lead to the solving of her brutal murder and that of her family. His eye had previously been caught by diary entries that...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2020, 10:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Dramatic irony occurs when the readers of a book know what the characters do not. In Capote's narrative, we as readers learn early on that the Clutter family—Herb, Bonnie, and their teenage...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2020, 1:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

In craftingIn Cold Blood, Capote employs many tools of the novelist, shaping his non-fiction work almost as if it were a novel. Foreshadowing is used effectively and repeatedly throughout the book....

Latest answer posted July 11, 2012, 2:55 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

The plan was to rob and kill him. Dick and Perry had plans to gain transportation and funds by taking lethal advantage of the next person to pick them up as hitchhikers. This person happened to be...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2012, 3:50 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

In the book In Cold Blood, author Truman Capote chronicles the brutal murder of the Clutter family in rural Kansas in the 1960's. Capote spent a great deal of time interviewing the accused...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2019, 2:44 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

You might say that Floyd Wells planted the seed that grew into the plot to murder the Clutter family. He was the prison cellmate who told Dick Hickock about his time working on the Clutter farm and...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2008, 9:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Please note: The post contains numerous questions. The eNotes Homework Help policy allows for one question per post. This answer primarily addresses the first question. One important characteristic...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2019, 3:11 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

As they make their escape to Mexico, Dick and Perry stop at stores where Dick can really "con a guy." For one, the clerk in a Kansas City, Missouri, clothing store was especially gullible because...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2015, 2:47 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

In the first chapter of In Cold Blood, Capote discusses the dreams of Herb Clutter in close proximity to Perry's dreams, setting the tone for the rest of the book and establishing the thematic role...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2018, 8:03 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Three days after the Clutters’ funeral, the wedding of one of the surviving Clutter daughters, Beverly, takes place in the same church. This is explained by the fact that the wedding had already...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2013, 7:18 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a narrative history about the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. In the first part, "The Last to See them Alive," Capote describes the...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2016, 1:54 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

While their murder of the Clutter family is of course inexcusable, both Dick and Perry had suffered unfortunate and crippling injuries which, if not excusing their actions, do provide some form of...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2019, 8:29 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

While Truman Capote’s “nonfiction novel,” as he labeled his most well-known work, In Cold Blood, has been pilloried over the years for the author’s dissembling regarding the line between fact and...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2014, 1:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote, the author, had a similar upbringing in some ways to Perry Edward Smith. Like Smith, Capote's parents separated when he was young. He was sent to live with his mother's family in...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 1:49 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

One way to approach the issue of rationalizing or justifying the imposition of capital punishment in the specific case of Perry Smith and Dick Hickock is to cite the comments made by County...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2014, 4:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

This quote demonstrates Dick's premeditation on committing a violent crime at the Clutter residence. Though he may or may not have actually planned on killing anyone, he did plan to rape someone....

Latest answer posted July 11, 2012, 3:53 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

At the heart of In Cold Blood lies the question of how the central event—the brutal and meaningless killings of the Clutter family—could have been perpetrated by two men whose outward appearance...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2019, 6:13 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

Holcomb is characterized by clear blue skies and wheat plains. It is an isolated region located in West Kansas. Buildings in the town are separated by train tracks. The land is vast and has scenic...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2019, 10:17 am (UTC)

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In Cold Blood

While the 1967 film of the same title that stars Robert Blake as Perry Smith faithfully chronicles the journalistic fiction of Truman Capote, who was very involved in the making of this movie,...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2012, 8:29 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Bobby finds out about the murder through Mr. Ewalt, father of one of Nancy's friends, and one of the four people to discover the Clutters' bodies on the Sunday morning after their murder. Bobby has...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2017, 11:35 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

When Dick Hickock arrived in Las Vegas with Perry Smith (in Part Three of In Cold Blood), Dick planned to impersonate an Air Force officer. Capote writes that "It was a project that had long...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2016, 12:22 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

"Mean as hell" might be classified as a form of figurative language, as it is a simile (a comparison that uses "like" or "as"). This expression is a cliche, or a phrase that has become worn out...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2018, 8:33 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

To do something "in cold blood" means the opposite of having done that thing in the heat of the moment. A murder committed in cold blood is one that has been thought about, planned, and then...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 11:41 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote claimed that he had created a new literary genre with In Cold Blood. He called it a nonfiction novel. To make his book more dramatic, he employed imaginative description and imaginary...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2012, 6:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

In Truman Capote's jounalistic novel "In Cold Blood" the Clutter family--particularly the farmer, Herb Clutter--is victimized by Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene Hickock, two ex-cons who...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2009, 4:23 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Over the last several years, a great deal of attention has been paid to the late author Truman Capote and the process by which he produced his classic of American literature In Cold Blood. The...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2015, 2:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

In his efforts to present the narrative of In Cold Blood in a journalistic style that recreates the setting and the persons involved, apparently without bias, Truman Capote uses an omniscient...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2014, 9:01 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Dick questions whether there isn’t something actually wrong with Perry. He bases this on his observation of Perry’s strange ways from the days when they were prison cellmates, when Perry would suck...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013, 11:01 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, features multiple strong themes throughout the narrative, some subtle while others are overt. These themes include life in rural America, the American dream,...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2016, 3:39 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

For me, this book had me feeling sympathy and amazement. Sorry for Perry because of his personal history, I was also amazed at his indifference to human suffering. He understood what he was doing,...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2012, 6:59 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

It would seem that author Truman Capote's opinion of Dick Hickock is that Dick is crude, unrefined and utterly amoral. He says early in the book, Of course, Dick was very literal-minded, very—he...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2020, 12:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

KBI stands for the Kansas Bureau Of Investigation. In the novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote details the 1959 murders of four members of the Clutter family (Herb, Bonnie, Nancy, and Kenyon) in...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2015, 7:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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