Questions and Answers for In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

What are 3 physical and 3 personality traits of Dick and Perry?

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

Who was Willie-Jay and why did he take to Perry? 

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

In In Cold Blood, how does Capote show bias towards Perry Smith? Any quotes would be helpful.

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

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Where did Dick and Perry go when on the run in "In Cold Blood"? where was all the places dick and perry went while on...

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 Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, what are Dewey's two different scenarios for the crime?

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

4 educator answers

In Cold Blood

What is Perry Smith's sister's name?

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

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

From what point of view is In Cold Blood written? How does the type of narration affect how the book is read?

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

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

What are two major themes of the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote?

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

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

In In Cold Blood, what is the significance of Perry singing the song 'In the Garden'?

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

What is Capote's opinion on the death penalty, and to what extent does his perspective affect the reader's opinion on...

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

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

How do the narrative voice and the sentence structure of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood change when the story shifts...

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

How does Truman Capote employ literary devices to tell his story and to create a "style" in In Cold Blood?  Literary...

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

In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, where does Capote show sympathy for Perry?

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

What does the crime reveal about the town of Holcomb? How does the gossip surrounding the murders reflect underlying...

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

In the book In Cold Blood, why was Perry convicted of premeditated murder? When does the text mention his wanting to...

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

How does Dick use his charm to get money from retailers so that he and Perry can afford to continue their journey to...

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

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

What do Perry's possessions tell about him? 

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

How is nature versus nurture portrayed in 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

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Who is ultimately responsible for the Clutter family murder in "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

What plans did Perry and Dick have for Mr. Bell?

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

How can Truman Capote be compared to Perry Edward Smith in the book 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

What role do dreams play in 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

How does Bobby find out about Nancy's murder? What is his reaction to the news?

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

Discuss the title of the novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

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

What is a passage from In Cold Blood that describes Capote's attitude towards Dick and Perry's relationship?  

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

3 educator answers

In Cold Blood

Holcomb, Kansas, in the novel In Cold Blood, appeared to Capote as the very embodiment of traditional American ideas....

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

In In Cold Blood, what occurs in the Clutters' church three days after the Clutter funeral?

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 In Cold Blood, what does Dick question about Perry, and why?

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 the book In Cold Blood, what was Dick Hickock's plan when he got to Las Vegas? Why didn't it work? 

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

What is each of the four sections of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote about?

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

In what ways is the town of Holcomb, Kansas ordinary? In what ways is it unique?

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

2 educator answers

In Cold Blood

What do you think about this quote? “I know it was wrong. One thing I never told you about the clutter deal is this....

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

Are the phrases "people are dumb" and "mean as hell" types of figurative language from In Cold Blood and are they...

"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

Floyd Wells

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

Why did Truman Capote title his book "In Cold Blood"? Was it because of the characters' upbringing, which in their...

Capote's journalistic novel chronicles the robbery attempt by Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, a plan that Hickock devised while incarcerated. While in a Kansas prison Hickock had...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2009 12:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Was Capote successful in sympathizing with Perry Smith? Why or why not?

Sympathy is probably the wrong word, as I don't know that Truman Capote actually felt sorry for Perry Smith, but he did empathize with him. That is, both personally and in his writing, he could...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2010 2:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

How do you best characterize James Latham and George York in the book In Cold Blood by Capote?

They were cold-blooded killers. Capote's book is a fictionalized account of the true murders of the Clutter family by Perry Smith and Richard Hickok. While they were awaiting execution on death...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2008 12:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Is the movie of In Cold Blood similar enough to the book?

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

Drawing from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, why Dick and Perry deserve the death penalty? I have two reasons: they...

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

In In Cold Blood, what is the significance of the American Dream?

Although the phrase "the American Dream" had a longer history, it was made popular by the writer James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book Epic of America. Originally part of the myth of the American...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2019 1:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Explore and discuss how Capote presents imprisonment in the novel In Cold Blood.

Capote spends a great deal of time discussing the way in which Dick Hickock and Perry Smith live when imprisoned. They had been paroled from prison when they committed the Clutter murders, so...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2016 6:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Who is Mr. Frederick Johnson in "In Cold Blood"?

Frederic Johnson (note the correct spelling of the first name) is the brother-in-law of Perry Smith, one of the two men convicted of murdering four members of the Clutter family. His wife, Barbara,...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2008 3:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

How does the perspective and point of view of the story contribute to the novel In Cold Blood? 

The style of the narrative perspective is carefully crafted to allow for a fluid, compelling and immediate relation of events while also offering enough detachment in the latter sections of the...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2015 4:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

This passage in In Cold Blood precedes the story: "Men, our brothers, who live after us, Do not harden your...

Among the reasons so many were shocked and affected by the murder of the Clutter family was that the crime seemed to be meaningless and without motive. In the 1950s, the idea that a person or...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2016 3:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

What are some examples of dramatic irony in part 1 of 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

Is the letter written by Perry's sister included in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, as well as the those written by...

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

Cite an example of historiographic metafiction in the novel.

Historiography is the study of the historical process - historical methods, biases, authorship, etc. Metafiction is also sometimes referred to as illusory fiction, fiction that may not be fiction,...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2010 3:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

In In Cold Blood, who is the dynamic character?

The most dynamic character is Dick. He is the one with ideas; he is the one who makes things happen. Arguably the central event of the Clutter murders is really down to him, even if it’s Perry who...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013 9:39 am UTC

1 educator answer

In Cold Blood

Is In Cold Blood a creative work? Is it more than journalism? Why or why not?  

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

What is the central argument in chapter 2 of In Cold Blood?  

One of he central arguments in this second chapter is the way that Smith is presented in his full psychological complexity, and how Capote explores his background and the various forces that turned...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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