In Cold Blood
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“‘Deal me out, baby,’ Dick said. ‘I’m a normal.’ And Dick meant what he said. He thought of himself as balanced, as sane as anyone—maybe a bit smarter than the average fellow, that’s all. But Perry—there was, in Dick’s opinion, ‘something wrong’ with Little Perry.”pg. 108
Dick uses Perry as a foil for his own self-image, often belittling or impugning him for his more eccentric, “childish,” or effeminate qualities, in comparison with which Dick convinces himself that he is “normal.” Perry, on the other hand, prides himself on being “exceptional,” sensitive, even “artistic” in comparison to Dick. However, each man looks to the other for affirmation of his own masculinity, Dick latching onto Perry for his “killer instincts,” and Perry yearning for Dick to think him “hard, as much the ‘masculine type’ as he considered Dick to be” (111).