In Cold Blood

yellow bird

what does it mean? why is it important? where is it located in the book?

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The yellow bird is a symbol, “a warrior angel” that “[is] ‘taller than Jesus, yellow like a sunflower’” (Capote 93)

This symbol is illustrated by Capote throughout the text in Perry's nightmares; it intervenes when he finds himself besieged by monsters and saves him; he sees the bird as an angel and sometimes perceives it as Jesus drawing him into the light. It is a symbol of escape, a way to move past problems that seem insurmountable. The color of the bird (yellow) is said to represent light and even freedom.

"Throughout his life – as a child, poor and meanly treated, as a foot-loose youth, as an imprisoned man – the yellow bird, huge and parrot-faced, had soared across Perry’s dream, an avenging angel who savaged his enemies or, as now, rescued him in moments of mortal danger." (Capote 266)


In Cold Blood