The Role of Financial Stability in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

1283 Words 6 Pages
Herb Clutter and his family possess it. Dick and Perry want it. It is often associated with the ideal existence. What is “it” exactly? “It” refers to financial stability. This is the state of not having to fret about paying the bills or providing for one’s family and of not having to worry if one will eat on a given day. The concept of financial stability is central in the novel written by Truman Capote and inspired by real events entitled In Cold Blood. This issue is the backbone of the novel and is the chief motive for the murders committed in the story. Additionally, financial stability is an important component in the typical view of the “American dream.” It is fair to say that the Clutters embody this concept, which …show more content…
It is fact that both Dick and Perry had served prison sentences for robbery in the past. Capote further illustrates the vices of Dick’s personality when he uses the statement, “I promise you, honey, we’ll blast hair all over them walls” (22) to portray Dick as a potential murderer. Capote also shows that Dick is a liar by revealing that he lied to his father about where he was going the night of the murders (23). It is fairly obvious that Capote is portraying Dick as a person who doesn’t often exhibit virtue in his actions. Capote presents a similar idea about Perry when he reveals Perry’s confession of murdering all four Clutter’s present at the house (255). Dick and Perry never attain financial stability and are, within Capote’s story, the embodiment of the “American nightmare.” It is possible that Capote is subtly equating this with their lack of virtue.

Throughout the story Dick and Perry tried to come up with schemes to make money. Dick goes on a bad check writing spree and he promises to marry Maria “who was the widow of a ‘very prominent Mexican banker’” (118) in order to get money. In fact, the incident at the River Valley Ranch was meant to be a robbery and not a murder. Dick and Perry never seriously try to find honest ways to make money, rather they spend all their time scheming and violating others in order to get money. Their methods ultimately fail every time and they always find themselves broke shortly after
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