Essay on How Does the Reader's Understanding of Perry Develop

830 WordsMar 2, 20094 Pages
How does the readers understanding of Perry develop? Early on in the novel, In Cold Blood, Capote described Perry Smith as a dreamer who tended to live in his own fantasies rather than the real world. We find out that Perry has a creative ambition and a sensitive side as he is a musician. However, once again this dream of this his caused him to stop paying attention to reality and what is going on around him by going into a trance. Later on in the novel we are introduced to more of Perry’s background and the fact that he was in prison. Here we are acquainted with one of Perry’s cell mates who turned out to be a very important and influential person in his life, “Brilliant Willie Jay”. Willie Jay was portrayed as a man of wisdom and,…show more content…
“You are a man of extreme passion,” Willie Jay wrote. Willie Jay explains how he admires Perry, yet he is a confused man in the world and he must understand where he is going to go and what he intends to do with his life. The letter is rather long and uses quite sophisticated language for a man in prison, for example, “You exist in a half world suspended between two superstructures.” This again expresses Willie Jay’s concerns for Perry as he is stuck between what is real and what is fantasy. Perry showed this letter to Dick and received a very dim view on it, “Faggots of scorn! He’s the faggot”. Although Perry had expected this from Dick, who had a limited mind, he still seemed to be attracted to him, though again without realising his feelings. This was again strange since Perry had been so infatuated with Willie Jay and for him to behave in a similar way with Dick who was so different from Willie Jay was odd as it again showed Perry’s confusion. When reading we are given another insight into Perry’s background as we find out what his superstitions are, “Nuns, the number 15, red hair, white flowers, priests crossing a road and snakes appearing in a dream.” All of these seem incorrect and are not the ordinary superstitions that we are used to, for example, it is normally the number 13 that we fear. I think that all of these fears that Perry has are a result of bad experiences in his life. He did not have a stable
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