In Cold Blood

Did any of the details of these people the Clutter family and Dick and Perry stick out/extremely noticeable to you?

Question: Truman Capote's “In Cold Blood” begins with details of all the major people in the story--the Clutter family and Dick and Perry.

Did any of the details of these people stick out/extremely noticeable to you?

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Critics have described the opening passage of In Cold Blood as “Homeric” (after the Greek epic poet Homer, the author of the Iliad and Odyssey). The Clutter lifestyle is unimpeachable, almost to a fault. If Herb Clutter is comparable to the hero in a Greek tragedy, then his self-righteous attitude is his hubris, the tragic flaw that results (indirectly) in his demise. Capote introduces Perry with an ironic flourish, by comparing him to Herb: “Like Mr. Clutter, the young man breakfasting in a café called the Little Jewel never drank coffee” (14). Here the similarity ends, for Perry is in many ways the polar opposite of Herb Clutter. We also begin to glimpse elements of the complex interpersonal dynamic of Perry and Dick. Dick is easygoing and self-assured, where Perry is cautious and reflective; Perry admires Dick for being a “real masculine type,” but Dick needs Perry for what he considers to be Perry’s “natural killer” tendencies (based on stories Perry has told him). Yet in spite of this mutual esteem for one another, the two men's relationship features elements of insecure rivalry, coupled with just enough disdain to keep the men at arm’s length.