Animals in Exile: Criminal and Community in Capote's "In Cold Blood" Author(s): George R.
Creeger Reviewed work(s): Source: Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien, Bd. 14 (1969), pp. 94-106 Published by: Universitätsverlag WINTER Gmbh Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41155637 . Accessed: 02/02/2013 14:52
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
Universitätsverlag WINTER Gmbh is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien.
This content downloaded on Sat, 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
in in that The terms therelationship intricate. so thepoeminsists.Animalsin Exile: in and Community Capote's In Cold Blood Criminal
George R. thin. difficult translate. a town of some eleven thousand people and more than twenty churches. whenshe pronounces Clutter community." (p. humanityand effectively Perhaps the principal communityin Capote's book (at least at a symbolic level) is Garden City. 33) Yet not all the animals runningfree in the streetsof this Garden confirm the idyl. relationship precisely and his "brothers humanity" Capoteexplores thenovel.I shall let a singlereference double or even duty. given. ." rectly "Frères may although bederedas "brothers humanity.The chiefceremony theirday is . stopping scrutiperformed of in thosestationed front the nize theenginegrillesof parkedautomobiles.which an explicit plea François to notto hardenour heartsagainstthewretched.p. or the and their between criminal the It thisintimate humanity."1 Mrs. [when]theytrotthelength Main Street. of withstrange and cleverhabits. . We understand of withequal ease theattitude AlvinAdamsDewey. in fact.The ones thatask. I believe. 1965. often possible. we partake. Hartman. 266) By no means unfamiliar with animals. it possesses "a big. rambling (p. and its functionremains the same.theKansasBureau of Investigation for downthekillers: poringfutilely agentchiefly responsible tracking of over the "twenty pictures" the dead bodies. 83) to way. be renhumains. particularly from of for and the twohotels. strays dirty to of . Capote (like JeanGenet)knowsfull as of are for level we encounter well. foramong themis a pair of gray tomcats. park complete with a small menagerie ('See the Polar Bears!' 'See Penny the Elephant!')" and "placid residential streetswhere animals and children are safe to run free. 230. Hartman's "varmints. hangedmen'sbrothers. is. Creeger As an epigraphforhis nonfiction novel In Cold Blood. usuallytheproperty travellers
1 TrumanCapote.he hoped that blown-upglossy-print
he might detailwould declareitself:"Like see that "suddenly something. Findthehiddenanimals. TrumanCapote uses four linesfrom are Villon's"Ballade des pendus. . 'How manyanimalscan you findin thispicture?' a whatI'm trying do." a meaningful In thosepuzzles.addressus dibut as to The expression. (Hereafter will page references be wherequotations within textof thearticleitself.that's If "animals" is a less brutal termthan Mrs." it insists theintimacy therelationship of in on and tween whomaydie peacefully ourbedsand those"poorones"aboutto be hanged. at twilight ."(p. and evenat a primary difficulty. us in of We are."The lines. might denythatwe are thebrothers thosewho deserve for and can readilyunderstand thatindomitable spokesman the rejectthe criminal murderers the "varmints. New York."it is no less generic. rather showpity. thesecars. Windsor Warren. the as as Occasionally.) triple
This content downloaded on Sat.In Cold Blood. Kansas. mostof us psychological we of Rather. for by it the speaker deprives the killers of their in exiles themfromthe community whichhe lives. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. wishto hanging. do the are takenfrom same page of the book.
'" 264) For a somewhat (p. 113and 204. sparrows enoughto have flowninto the path of onfoolhardy the comingmotorists. comparable of imagery.has a somewhat dramatic Sherlock. 54) of thewindshield themurderer's filthy of with"theslimeof battered insects.Also Indiansummer laststhrough that Christpp. doing. where encountersparty he a of
fivepheasant hunters from Oklahoma. 82 son 's on and 240.lures hordesof sportsmen fromadjoining states.Soon as it was.2
The slaughter these of birdstakesplace on theplainssurrounding GardenCity. 13. 77. thedescription(p. in fact.pp.Everyautumn. gone.lets Teddy suggest (notably of father and of thelarger. For Dewey perplexity thesubjectcf.'" a a to Sadie Truitt.By custom. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
.whenhe stepsoutsidehis large.Thereexplainedthatthecatswerehunting after painedhimto watch it their maneuvers: 'BecausemostofmylifeI've done whatthey're use cf. great copperyflights the grain-fattened thehunters. and fortheremarkable mas. cats extract from grillesevery the feathery particle.methodical slaughtered and crows. 3 P. The timeof yearis.'" 66) (p. (Buffalo) Jones. 246. Clutter all youcan. whenthegrainfields aroundHolcombspread"lion-colored" (p.and gun-shy.chickadees. according Mother to he Havingmade a lot ofmoney hogsforslaughter. Using theirpaws as thoughtheyare surgicalinstruments.65-66.5 2 P.and 236)."3 kindof Indian summer theregionits onlytruetasteof seasonalglory.Suchweather Mr. The buffalo.pp.'" Mother Truittcontinues.4 Passingthrough orchard.a fatwork horseand family he toward favorite. 12.Animals Exile: Criminal Community Capote'sIn Cold Blood in and in
birdscreatures hunting: are afar.oftenyield what the bony. 12) undera declining beneficent greatflocks thebirdscometo feed. but of sun.Movedto California. 4 P. 13 and 58.Havingeaten theapple and feditscoretoBabe. less well-coif aspectsof themurders thepassivity thestrong ordinated (cf.Cf."I'm not as poor as I look. Cf. course." car.and we hearnothing of are of further hogs. apple in hishand. took family history: itspermanent namefrom stranger.The pheasantseasonin Kansas. account Mr. Clutter. Capotepermits himself fewadditional(and comparable) a ironiesinvolving pheasants: forexample. Masterwalksbeside the river. flushing felling withroundsof birdshot of birds.wheretheClutter slaughtered.The equivalent.on theother (p. Herbert gives greets W. Go ahead.pp. less called originally it lives. is accompanied Teddy.butpheasants stillabound. J.82.Meier explicit Capote drawsbetween dead birdscaughtin thevehicles'enginegrilles. "'whatdid he do? Sold out. "lhograiser. "Master"of RiverValley Farm. theyare not invitedguests. Garden City owed muchof its subsequent to of who late in life spenthis time growth the activities one C. He by part the the collie. prewherea different of slaughter kind tookplace during earlyhistory the the of sumably town:foundedsoon afterthe Civil War. 13.called "pheasant a that weather. street of "haranguing groupsagainstthewantonextermination the beastshe himself had so profitably hand. and Nancy'scats). "'decidedthetownought raising be called after him.a famedNovember event.and duringthe past week had and plaid-hatted regiments paraded acrossthe autumnalexpanses. fortythousand-dollar homeon a quietSaturday an morning."he said. was amused.whomakesa to good deal of therepresentative powerof theanimalsbelonging theClutters one of themostenigmatic Babe. the connection them and PerrySmith:"Mrs. Capote. moves a smallgroveof fruit trees. whenthe Oklahomans to but offered letting hirehunting Mr. 6 P." 32) Holcomb. supposedto pay the landowner fee for if are a thempursuetheirquarryon his premises. Clutter's his of insurance the agenthearing newsof themurder just
This content downloaded on Sat.a stray. get rights.his son'sdog .
a 12-gaugeSavage shotgun whosestockwas a "delicatelyetched in flight.the Coyote Wagon" : Not far from RiverValley Farm thereis a mysterious knownas stretch countryside of theSand Hills. but also his wife (p. 22. the small caravan of cars passes throughbleak countrywhere thereis littleto see and less to do. part of Capote's narrative strategy:in detailing the attitudes assumed toward animals (and frequentlythe violence done them) by his characters.back to Garden City fromLas Vegas.this relationshipmay be defined as follows: in denominatingthe criminal an animal. his heart had failed. 213) and Mr. although the sight of his sisterkissinga cat filledhim with disgust. 232) All of this attentionpaid to "real" animals is. of course. cf.as Bob said. 70) and his description themuron scene of der weapon.but his son Kenyon is. themrunning. A hurryingheart and hounded coyotes. 40) But his fatherhad warned him about riding the horse too hard: u<One day you'll ride the life out of Skeeter.assembling hordesto howl. pheasants « As not only Dewey does. and he stumbledand was dead. While yet a boy.for it provided the sweet pleasure of "swaggering homeward with a dozen duck dinners swinging fromtheir belts. which were then quick-frozenand shipped to mink growers. 40-41) Of course." whom Kenyon had loved so muchhe ceased to regard him as an animal and was even accustomed to kissing him. s (p.p. theyseldomdid.he prepares us for understandingmore fully the relationship between the criminal-animal and the community.a strawberry stallion. as many as "half a hundred rabbits" to be delivered "to the 'rabbit facups.On moonlit evenings boyswould descendupon set and them.96
GeorgeR. theyare also shot by Western ranchersas pests. 17).The deaths of coyotesare a different matter:true varmints. tryto outracethemin thewagon. five.whereasthewagon'stop speedwas thirtycoyotecan hit fifty but it was a wild and beautiful kind of fun." (p. like a rattlesnakeor a coyote." (p. Dick and Perry." killing tory'." 171). Clutter brother 280). 39) No less intoxicatingwere coyote hunts. he had ridden his horse to death. conducted "rabbit roundKenyon had.that of a of human beings. it is like a beachwithout ocean.and Bob." (pp. a horse is not a varmint.in whichthe varmintswere pursued in an "old truck witha Model A engine.Put discursively. Creeger
We do not thinkof Mr. the fleeing coyotesframedagainst the moon. Clutteras a hunter.
This content downloaded on Sat. too") was duck hunting.and for both pleasure and profit. and to count the carcasses of shotgunned coyotes festooningranch fences. and the death of such a horse as Skeeter may evoke pity and grief. forthe scrawniest milesan hour.the wagon skidding acrossthe sand.' And he had. "a beautiful horse. except "to read BurmaShave doggerel. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. The category then permitsthe community thinkof the crito group minal-animal in rather hermeticways and to use action against him for which there of a as he "was plunging knifeintotheroastpheasant"(p. 38-39) (pp.a Garden City processingplant that paid ten cents a head forthe animals.(p. Kenyon knows somethingabout both: as a youngboy. (p. note8. in whom the devil lurked (p." Still better ("what meant most to Kenyon . On the long drive that is to bring two captured animals.and at nightcoyotes an slinkamongthe in the dunes. while Skeeter was streakingdown a road with his master astride him. it sure made yourheart hurry. Cf.6 the communityeffectively separates him from its own conscious self-image . with a friend. theyare not only pursued by excited young boys on moonlitnightsin Coyote Wagons.
7 Cf. the The extent which to thisintimate and perverse relationship permeates book is but use clear.alternation chapin one whether ters. an that incarceration.Perry sits him. 7 Amerikastudien XIV
This content downloaded on Sat. the of pair yetbecausetheinterest thecrowdis now on a moreinteresting of animals. thenarrative witha strong senseofmotion also to confirm intimacy therelabut the of the and thecommunity. thetwograytomcats makeone of theirdisquieting roundsof theCourthouse Square. p.By thekindof grimlogicpermitted thecategory. Holcombor Garden City) is followedby one devotedto the killersand theirworld or The function thisalternation notonlyto provide of is (usuallythatof flight hiding). are nevertheless his and they equallystrong. fatalconcomitant rational consciousness however. 248. I hearyou. Thereupon ciple on and to it itself itstriumph return thefeeling cherishes community congratulate may so much thatof security. chain an arrangementrestricting movements he cannot so his that his must it him When wants cigarette. The criminal themetaphor.which metaphoric expression thebookis theoften another theset of is affirmed severemyopiaof Mr. of Dewey driving seat. Duntz sitting theback of to belt is handcuffed. pp. thehandcuffs attached a security bya short and are length smoke unaided. Chapter begins:"Nancyand herprotégée. forKenyon's cf.notonlyin thecontrolled of animalimagery also in various everywhere of For there a heavyreliance. is also ambivalent.or. Capote suggests it here is in a brilliant summarizing paragraph: caravan flashing across On an Arizona a is country sagebrush highway. daunted. example.'"(p..to the wouldotherwise fewer be sanctions. which devotedto theworldof theClutters of their (or community. change the or ultimately death. endswith tionship Dick to summon 4 thehonkof a hornfrom KenPerry. business. prinof by of of violenceis violently the rationalconsciousness the repressed. The crowdhad muchof the appearance. 248)
Bd.7 and circumstances of to the surrounding return the animal-criminals Garden Cityforthe trialthatwill lead to their finalexile: as thecrowdawaitsthearrivalof thecaravan.In Animals Exile:Criminal Community in inCapote's ColdBlood and
in becomes quarry a hunt. often finds in blindness. particuthree of books. Chapter3. 8 P. animalin exile. therelationship between murderer the and the detective and faintly standsdefined bothintimate as perverse. larlyin thefirst perhapseven naive. and If theactionsthatlinkcriminal captorare less tangible to thanthehandcuffs chain thatdefine captivity. "expecting parade. and whenit finally "caught sightof themurderers it fellsilent. between criminal Thus Book I. of a Capote writes.inparticular 63. One of thenice ironiesof pride.whether of flight.Smith Smith beside and is in thelead car. 247). 38 and 62-63. is aspects Capote'snarrative technique. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. he a light for andplaceitbetween lips. parallelmyopia. 17) At theend of Chapter Capotedescribes satisfaction 5 the Dick yon! feelswiththetune-up he has giventhe 1949blackChevythatis to carry himand job on the 6 Perry their tripto murder fflutters.two-car is and and red themesacountry hawks rattlesnakes towering rocks.and perhaps trial. attending politicalrally" (p. catsare largely extractunnoticed."(p. hiding.. they Nothing proceedabouttheir by ing with surgicalprecisionthe dead birds that have been slaughtered vehicles the toward GardenCity. The of is. or a . 232) he his (p. though as amazedto find them humanly shaped.Chapter begins:"'Good grief. Dewey action the an a taskthat detective "repellent.8 speeding as If therelationship defined complex. Clutter." it seems the finds for such intimate kind thing done of he'd while wascourting wife.on a calculated.
141) and by a mail clerkin Las Vegas of (p.And . 25)
9 So called a number times:by Perry'ssister(p.98
GeorgeR.too. Clutter's is as he wishes.thatof apology. ." 38) Of a somewhat bedifferent orderis the parallelism (p. . Mr. . . Chapter begins:"Like Mr. sharpness. of both Smith. of
This content downloaded on Sat.fleeting tionship without theirfleeting but less powerful. Clutter: the middleof Chapter2 we learn that dramatically juxtaposed 3 Mr. worsethanthat. 179). dollarpolicythatin the on thousand out as making a check "thefirst payment a fortyHe eventof deathby accidentalmeans." 14) neverdrank theyoung manbreakfasting a cafécalled theLittleJewel in (p.and although theyare occasionally us exists the between worldof contrived.'" (p. tea (p. theywill "'blasthair all overthem walls'" (p. 22) . Nothworse.Or as though I and I'm And suddenly tongue-tied."(p. me Andthe weshare wetarry as there. [it] of its unremovable dourness.Mr. coffee.'"(pp.and blood. Mr.10 moreenduring measure thatof Mr. Suchjuxtapositions even mechanical.48) has .For example. were also satisfied in withMr. by please. in someway disblurred the fearthatshe might seriesof gestures a give offense. withsomewhat heavyirony. Clutter's At theend of Chapter12 Capote describes. the father: and thewordsofDickHickock's Marie. me. Creeger
is work. AndHe tells I amhisown."'whenever I I he startto say something.One oftherooms and thus be plastered bloodied to is thatin thebasement whereKenyonis shotgunned death. . SomePerry goodbourgeois whatcomparable moresubtleas a narrative but embedare technique theparallelisms ded in the texture the storyitself. on a smallscale." (p. Clutter and Mr. havingyour ing. 20-21) A stronger. BobbyRupp. in herdreamMarie thinks BonnieClutter returned cryaloud: "To be murthat has to dered.It is the same roomin to which and his sister he "had made a paint-splattered to attempt deprive. joy Noneother ever known. inclination.To be murdered. There'snothing No.butas Nancyconfides Susan Kidwellon thephone. knowing will. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. 154) The father's he worsecan happento a man.nominally I to a RomanCatholic. as the effective a meansof confirming relathough indisputably between killers the and their not are touches victims. Clutter. ("Lone between singlesustained parallel thatCapote established father themurderer: menareloners. looksat me as though mustnot love him. tween dreamofAlvinDewey'swife. 10The ambiguity Capotes syntax hereI taketobe deliberate. Wolf")9 partly by partly becauseneither seems able fully loveortoelicitlove.Clutter's to failure measured is in to becausetheboy is briefly his opposition Nancy'ssuitor. thanthe even in theiraggregate.hair.paid doubleindemnity. do remind thatno absolutedemarcation they and Dickand thatoftheClutters or ofanyother citizens. No.just wantto be his daughter do lovedhimless. 259) boyhang.'" (p.who during marriage to and herpersonality "hervoiceto a singletone."(p. abound." thenbeginsthesuba stanzafrom familiar a sequent hymn: chapter havingPerry by sing "And walks He with andHe talks with me. her withhimhas been reducedto a profound on effect his wife. Clutter drinks neither norcoffee 10). 24) Perryhimself withtheirmorning's JoleneKatz.Dick Hickock's of constant boast to Perryis thatwhentheydo thejob at theClutters. Nothing wordsare: "They'll hang them both.nothing Suchparallelisms. senseof incapacity.
pp. 8. whohas taught son how to trap.The case ofKenyon have we exiledbyrational animals morepoignant thatof his mother. ducks. Clutter) of for and 70. 125-130). 128and passimin his longletter cf.
This content downloaded on Sat. 128) One mustassumethat his thesameis trueofMr.a loneryear-old boy "the and Filled withfantasies. Smith. can even. myopic.22-caliber father (p.11 evokethelove ofhis children. emerged kill his sister. theend of the of at for one book. p.Confirmation thispossibility find thepresence.like Mr. is named diver" (p.22-caliber a withslugsfrom . estranged. thispower. of whomat leastis clearlya Doppelgänger Kenyon. the one concealed inside the shy church-going biologystudent" one bitter November in nightto read the (p. like theClutter boy. 13 So muchso thattheypossessalmostthe representative in powerof figures an Aristotelian version tragedy. wellson Lowell Lee Andrews.no one neededher. nevertheless of he man.it is. The former theeighteen-year-old of a "well-known. . together with a nineteen-year-old companion paid deep-sea The another he Latham. in and to wonderif one to reconsider Kenyon.Clutter's cf.W. is mismostmiserably observed. baking prowess. whomthe devil lurked. p. Clutter. episodeforces have not himtoo thatpowerof so manynames and disguises from might ultimately on leapttodo violence morethanvarmints orSkeeter.butforboth are Both fathers it comesclose to beingsimplyan extension theirprivatewills. 85.dominates onlythelifeofthetruemurderer that and exiled animalbut also thatof the scionof the eminently respectable family Yet however Clutters the the victims. she putit. ill-coordinated. Clutter. and even following her marriageto Herbert is true. is tobecome murderer's they respectable maybe. beneath surface their consciousness repressive or fear.and workin a Y. as bothlovedand feared(p. 28) and to thefamily where. forMr. p. has killedsevenpeoplein lessthana fortnight.Smith's. his revolver.A. brilliant. had leave homeand husband. who bake. mother.however. begetters killers. afterall.of twoyoung killers.12 of as thenovel seemsto suggest.drivingher backto the husbandwhomshe gained. physically secretLowell Lee. and 88 (thefamily). come RonnieYork and To death row. 12 For Mr.Clutter. coursetheform takeswithKenyonis. havinglockedhimself his bedroom to and his of last chapter The Brothers Karamazov. proves but who cannot who can build and construct.C. 322). in thatkilling Of a fairly trivial manifestation the"satanickink". Clutter. Perhaps already it namedBonnie("For thechildthatis bornon theSabbathDay . ordinary ing the book too hard to suggestthatperhapsKenyondies beforehis capacityfor and a moreseriousthanrabbits. 6 and 10 (Mr. For the pleasure go guilttookits sure toll.Animals Exile:Criminal Community in In inCapote's ColdBlood and
he There are manycomparableaspectsto Lone Wolf Smith'spersonality: shares Herb Clutter's and competence. eighteenand moreprecisealterego forKenyonis.cf.wherePerryand Dick await theirexecution. 9.butit is notcrowdof terms. Lone Wolf of the also. 313) The rifle and a Ruger. latter.forMr. senseof absolute Eachmanhas a strong law. gradually had succumbed a melancholy profound of so One successful modeof therapy been to thatit made of hera nearlytotalrecluse.
11 ForMr.and how to hunt. killingdevelopsand swervestowardvictims I in belovedhorse.13 of for the liveslie hiddenenergies like are also a strange family. if he does not achievetheremarkand independence a able success himself talented characteristic Mr. . 312)."). to Wichita. anycase. Her childhood.had been blithesome to Clutter and the advent of her children (ultimately number four)therehad been But she to moments happiness. 128. and gay.(p. not in of The figure thefather. (pp. p. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
she would be her aold self again. cit. Capote clearlysuggests.Nancy'sonlyimmediate opposition qualified.The pinkand whiteteddy (cf. Of course. and afterward. 20-21) This cloudaside.she decidedat fourteen changeher name to Joy(loc.We think heras theinstructress a younger withherfriend of riding pies. a matter of misplaced vertebrae. 185. 56. . in Wichita. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
.or say..'" (pp.(pp. "Bonnie. 273).." 20) a darkness: man without is there also no apparent vices. when addressing his Thanksgiving table.whohad died undermysterious of also toa number cats.. 7)
the ButBonnie'slifeis snuffed before can discover whether hopehad substance.Clutter's 15Nancyis particularly devotedto animals(p. Clutter could. nothing radianthappiness no no no darkness.talking Susan on thephonetheday before she her nails: "Muchas Nancy tried. decisionsnecessary his absence are impossible her to generates What if Herb should "What if shemade a mistake? make. hiddenanimals:she is the "towndarling"(p. the (p.207.15 work Susanon thebroadbackofBabe.her daughter.And how will he remember up Wilma. she must undergo an operation. 60.or as an equestrienne. was not in her head but in her spine . by symbolized festival those days:
.thefamily like theirflutes while the two girlsplay to evenings. is The cause. Thus. returningfromtwo weeks of treatment.14 that it stands ironically to is sourceof distress Mr..a man. a superbprovider
14 P. girlin themysteries bakingcherry on How pleasant.pp. so medical opinion had at last decreed [italics mine].(p. to and 78) is partoftheimagesattributed Perry's (p. could notbreakthe confess thatshe is "eating" to them she her habitof nibbling nails.Mrs.'" (pp. whenever was troubled.. did.including (p. circumstances pp. ." and a and p.well.and. 84). . her customaryplace of retirement.Please. recite a blessing of unmarredgratitude.itself felicitous mocking paralleltoMrs. 94-95. 7). 25) Capoterecognizes. 28-29) And to an intimate friend. but thereis apparently AboutNancy. course. 94-95) Yet young pagans in a GoldenAge. of recollection themurder 110). 84 and 102). Clutter's Still. idyl.herworldis as bright whomshe playsin as thatof a prelapsarian Thatcher. then Mr. complexity herstate. of withThanksgiving ahead and Christmas the marriage an olderdaughter and just of to there a kindofresurgence hopeappropriate thespirit is notfaroff.he is AboutNancy'sfather as of and one who can respectsuchan embodiment charity Mrs.I don'tknow. right the chewing (p.and shebecomes desperate: not door and pretend to hear. If so. 29-30) me?As a kindofghost. her she wails thatshortly son "'will be grown .or at leastas thatof Becky of of a school of performance Tom Sawyer.as she Better lockthebedroom to be displeased? sometimes T can't. out we has and we are leftwiththe imageof her as one whosevitality fledand who lives a wraith. Clutter had broughtscarcely credible tidings to tell her husband.
This content downloaded on Sat.100
GeorgeR. notonlyto babe (cl. guide the horseinto the river. hotsummer horse. to as Capote reports. Creeger
of of and as thebookbegins. not only the inadequacythatshe feels husbandbut also the fearthathe her resolute and successful whenmatched against for in in her. Originally to namedFern. and thewaterlaves their to her death. bear in herroom(cf. with joy she informed him that the source of her misery. the phraseis somewhat close for comfort one used in but too so Perry'ssister("everybody's describing sweetheart"). quick.27lj but Evinrude 19) and Boobs.is forced to it is Nancywho. hergoingsteady withBobbyRupp. bare limbs. pp. repressed energy. (pp..
thebanksof a riverand consists "to and apple trees. being the the to in it (the violence pretends.wifeof a local tenantfarmer. a patchof the paradise.can believein murderous to withtheinability perceive(or at least witha is.whosemembers.apple-scented is thatof his wife. was starving. Clutter gonea longway toward of additional establishing private . The to violenceas a factrelevant themselves.is finally less serious on it is Mrs.it proceeds.'" (p. kindof a it though mayrundeep.itpowerfully without mints. limited little. abhor. refuses take on hands totally once said to him: bold neighbor A who admit to drinking. like the murderers. And youwouldn't care if his family (p. a flawthana second. also sets a manwhose"selfassurance" himapartand "whileit createdrespect. Clutter. failure thanhe. someforms. Clutter'sring finger." Furthermore. getall youcan. attempt recapture Paradise. "'an inchmoreof rain as havingsaid. Eden. furthermore.he is also rigid.as normal. his description (p. that
16 P. I can'timagine afraid. more as a representative figure. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. by of How fortunate Capoteis in thematter names!That he shouldhave at hisdisposal To and a county a city."(p. ing to he abstemious his attitude towarddrinking: himself.Eden on earth. notalso of theintellect. 8). it thinks is a strength): she weakness(although herself "'Justnothing whathappened. of to Kansas. "T'm not as poor remark: intotheGardenwiththebland but ambivalent murderers) is of thisfailure theimagination maybe as I look. Clutter is also.
This content downloaded on Sat. to the theGarden.'"16 you Mr. he'd go.'" 10) Yet thisfailureof caritas.Mr.to fulfill American smaller than it of in be difficult. seat. if he is open and candid. as has whomthe community defined animalsor "varin (whether factor metaphor) the desires very of conscious so doing. 12-13) she window(p.the green. 36. 40)." rain or no. is lessthanhisprecious fruit trees.It is his attempt.less in his vastholdings he has plantedand and wealththanin thesmallgrove Eden on It tendedso carefully.namedGardenCityis superbly appositeto his purposes. theeconomy thebook. cherry. Capote writes. Clutter's A pathetic garden parallel (pp. theaffections others of a his whom wifeonceaccuseshimof lovin as we discover hisrelations withhis children.In inCapote's ColdBlood and Animals Exile:Criminal Community in
Yet Ashida.Bonnie. a for desireto deny)thepotentiality murderous by of to accept. finally. maimed is a fact Capote does not overlook: cf. 12) Even withoutthe and this country his has inch rain.Herb. 6) of the mangled remains of Mr.It to Mr. either thatseveralcharacters gardens in thebook who is reported one early haps themostsignificant is thatof Mr. . 117).thusit invites hunters killers. is lessimportant those yet Peror createforthemselves dreamof creating. of peach. is if of This failure theimagination. 36) He is a man forwhom"laws werelaws" (p.namely.expressions violencetowardthose fatal and perverse logic. hiredman and herson tendit carefully. a repetition of the remark (p. swear.withreference thearidity western would be paradise . Clutter. contrive. cf. That Mr. and although is rarely lies just outsideand beneathher bedroom so the to well enough workin it herself. Significantly scaresyou . one which no at shares withthecommunity large. he envisioned. beginning complete: the violencewithin self. more than ordinarily out a I "'You've gotno mercy.No matter you'dtalkyourway outof it. 13) His rigidity evenmoreclearlyrevealedin (p.. of on the the demonstrate waysin which townrepresents a fairly large scale themyth not would the dream.that theGarden. largely significantly. stands.Ashidawhoputsherfinger the of limitation his imagination.'" How pervasive of of the tested examining majormythic pattern thebook.pear.. .ifyoucaught hiredman drinking.
GeorgeR.If theweather of the roamthrough tin and practice draw." her the snarethemurderers nextday.p. once the near. 187) WhenMrs. Creeger
when she looks out throughthe hard transparent glass (the window is always shut.19 who friends livedin a lonelycountry fatehad befallen 17P. 150." (p.
This content downloaded on Sat.or in his imagination his the househe hoped to have and through gardenhe meantto plant.The gardenwas whitewith The front and Fern [Joy]." 19 P. is more substantial: under grim condia tions. severalmilesnorth GardenCity. 180). cans . 341. 40) Out of the flowers emanated from the garden's tall chrysanthemum themselves darkness seems to spring. as though the principle of violation were not merely external to the garden but actually inherent. had in mindthedead as well as theliving. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. (p.foronce an awful house.he discoversthat she no longershared [his dream] she had told himthatnevernow would she consider . And Dewey 's garden is destined to die stillborn. 126). If the Cluttershave theirgardens. Mama and Jimmy of have been an assembly spirits: it might sea-fog. not the door to the garden. she can see the small cultivated patch at her feet. the propeller hadn't his beforehe'd slapped a lawsuit on the pilot"* [p. 13]). More clearly so is the garden of Perry's married sister(not Joy. 130) completewith Garden of Memories and Wishing Well. "Crows cawed.who says of the familythat they've always been "'outdoor folks'" (p. in Dewey knewthateven if he were to livingall alone "way out there18 the country. God willing. and though the sky was still deep blue. cf. whereher children may play. lengtheningshadows stalks. His wife's garden. it is a small back garden surrounded by a white picket fence (p.so too have the Smiths:Perry's existslargely in his dreams and daydreams. sundown was sort descends on Mrs. 18 Capote capitalizes of bothon thecentral position GardenCityand Holcomband on thefact oftheir being"outthere. 105.he fosters kind of rude Eden in the hostile cold of Alaska (p.He was verycertainthatsomeday his own oasis of oaks and elmswould shadeless standuponthose plains: "Someday. cf. and it is through stopped turning once violated garden that he walks to the edge of the river and invites the pheasant huntersto come in and get all they can.however.. as she hopes.but a woman called Mrs.Marie wouldnotchange mind. it is neverthelessa partial success.even on the hottestsummerday).Johnson (p. she boltedthedoor. in safety. Johnson'sgarden.p.and undertreesyet to be seeded. has already fallen into autumnal decay when her childtransparent ren meet theretoward the end of the last day of theirlives: "The chill of oncomingdusk shivered throughthe air. Yet another garden is that of Alvin Dewey. who in 1951 had bought two hundred acres and forty was fine he likedto driveoutthere .shootcrows."17 Apparently. for once the knowledge of murderous violence intrudesdirectlyupon the life of him and his wife.. it is not the will of God that Eden shall be regained through Herb Clutter's Paradise is no sooner established than it is violated by a such efforts: small plane that crashes into it ("'Herb was fitto be tied! Why. that of his father. separated fromher by the hardness of glass. 41) Darkness of a different detectives(come to ask about her brother)have finallydeparted: but door was locked. 135) If the reality falls shortof the dream. Johnson): lying behind her tidy ranchhouse in San Francisco." (p. as we shall see.
they the troublesof transporting water. he encountersSusan Kidwell. 306) Yet if pressed.innate depravity. (p. Myrtle Clare may be from the prison chaplain. the Rev.
This content downloaded on Sat. they stand in essential agreement about one fact . the remorselessness of light. a design justly completed" is granted to the killers. Surrounded by death. is like that of the one overlookingGrover's Corners. But no comparable sense of "climax.just as the garden cemetery. more charitable.in Animalsin Exile: Criminal Community Capote'sIn Cold Blood and
Only one garden in the whole book seems immune to violation. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
.(p.it is the question that lies at theheart of thenovel: what makes a man a murderer? The book contains a number of answers. who tells him of how life has gone on for her. pathsunbrokenly plantedgenerations (p. rather.although one of them (Dick) does assert that the desire for revenge is the State's only legitimateexcuse forexecution. 113. the clergymanmightwell have to confessthat all human brains possess such a "part" and that in consequence an enormous amount of surgery seems necessary. release . Dewey neverthelessfeels in her preof sence a reaffirmation vitality.having turned the final hours of the Clutters' lives into terror. murderor no murder. explicit as well as implicit: one supposes Mrs. yet it is not. outrageous to insistthat theirghastly fate is not the central issue. almost an whose symbolicfunction injustice.. On one level Capote treats the idea of healing throughsurgeryjocosely.Here. "Varbut also formankindin general. Capote writes.that 20Both "varmints" and "rattlesnakes" referratheroftento the lawabidingmembers the of (cf.is situated on a plateau of modest Seen today. 335) Throughoutthe book Capote's sympathyfor the murdered family remains strong. weredetermined. release. above thetown theaustere which plains." The hanging had proved merelyan anticlimax . and he quotes with approval "old Doc other hand. theynamedValley View.particularlyin the case of Perry. are from hotday.But in the cemetery. for the first since the trial. Dewey is finally able to experience "a sense of climax. 341) Here.and the loneliness of exile." a fictionalcharacterwho held that evil sprang froma part of the brain that held "wicked thoughts" and believed that if that part could be excised by surgery. Post.20 termnot only forthe murderers mints"is the former's The chaplain.they deserve a comparable measure of terror.and not quite for the obvious if perhaps only pseudo reason that. she has a pretty profoundcontempt. is somewhat Savage.. community pp.butwhen arid soil and thetimecameto establish formal a despite cemetery.under stressat least.The result. it has a name Valley View: a The pioneers who founded GardenCitywerenecessarily Spartanpeople. of a design justly completed. that however different Mr.and 191). all the world's criminals would be transformedinto decent citizens.forthere manycool a of surf surrounding wheatfields a good refuge shadedbytrees ago.it is a darkisland lapped by theundulating altitude. yet it is clear that there are formsof violent human behavior that have a physiological cause.by an ancient paradox. 69. asserts itself as an everpresentrefuge from the vastness of space. if wickednessis to be abolished. on the forwhom. a Dick Hickockis the principal case in point: having suffered head injury in an automobile accident as a young man. I believe. to create a rich contrastto the dusty streets. he possesses a face.New Hampshire.or worse. rather than in the dreary storage shed at the State Prison where the killers are hanged. Dewey findsnot time just the memorials of death but also a sense of life's continuing.
as forexample in the followingpassage: and to partly. at aslant. happiness may be his. therefore. but not for Perry. Perry has faced an extraordinarilynumerous and brutal series of confirmations that in him the sense of rage should of his exiled state. ofhis nature. withterror.
This content downloaded on Sat.his appointed lawyers and psychiatrist. 166. 14).It was as though head had beenhalvedlikean thatthelips wereslightly off a . put apple.We to are permitted see it frommany points of view: but thoughwe learn muchfromPerry's to father.his sister. say nothingof his enemies. partly by his dreams. In other fantasies. cf. squint21 although sickly-blue serpentine... partly my "Nights[in Alaska] I used to lie awake.trying control bladder. 16) or as a fortunehunter in vaguely tropical. withtheresults levels butof unevensize. Abouta movieI'd seen.then together fraction center . not the head. 31) (p.transfixed Hickock's she'dwantedto incident of a bobcatshe'd once seen caughtin a trap. Lamour.thenoseaskew. who though also physically injured ("maimed").I wantedto go there. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. although he had written:"'It is importantthat steps be taken to rule out the possibilityof organic brain damage. His fantasies.however. more pitiable because somehow less necessary than the organically damaged brain of Richard Hickock. Perry lives exiled fromthe Garden. 22 P. an inveteratecollector of maps (p. if present. think aboutHawaii.fed partly by his reading (pp.
Here the fall of man is presentedas a kind of confirming accident." 164) (p. Nothing is more impressive in the book than the detailed analysis Capote presentsof Perry Smith's characterand its development.thecat's eyes.and his eyesnotonlysituated uneven it that thelefteye beingtruly witha venomous. was hurt about the legs." 133) (p.'" (p. paradise" so strong: an incessant conceiver of voyages. Creeger seemedcomposed mismatching his of parts.WithDorothy Wherethesunwas. most notably by the young man's father("'He just wasn't the same not boy'")22 and by the psychiatrist permittedto testifyin detail at the trial. if he can reach it.and of how. I'd whenit was too cold hardlyto breathe.radiantwithpain and hatred. define the content and structureof happiness.p. and one that clearly interests Capote far more than that of Hickock: for the latter surgerymighthave been an answer. for Capote. . at sediment thebottom to was involuntarily seemednevertheless warnof bitter acquired. 295) The case of Perry Smith is of a different order. 292.his friends. In this second daydream he has the feelingof 21 Cf. because I couldn'tstop thinking.was reminded a childhood by passage: "Marie. It is small wonder. be so great and the desire to gain some "patch of .however. it might have substantially influencedhis behavior duringthepast several years and at the timeof the crime.though her had drainedher of pityand filled releaseit. 14-15). Perry extends this somewhat naive vision: he projects himselfeitheras a singingstar in "a night-clubin Las Vegas" (p. he pores over the latter as avidly as Dewey does over the murderpictures.conjured between wake and sleep.And all youworewas grassand flowers.hoping to findnot hidden animals but simplya place where. Like all otherhuman beings. since. Yet he bears profound mental scars which are crippling and. unlike most. Always. southernparadises.104
GeorgeR.it is finallyfromPerryhimselfthatwe learn the most. thefollowing of eyes. one whichis asserted oftenin the novel.
him." 92) (p. .that is.theway it stinks. miraculously. don't knowhowto fight snake. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. to Like goingdownin quicksand. or even his sister's garden . a garden. California. I'm movingthrough treestowarda treestanding alone. faithless girl. I That's whyI'm there to pickmyself bushelof diamonds.he's crushing you can and but me. Thus far the dream is a quasi nightmare. 17) and galleon. look at .it to smellsbad. is I wantthediamonds morethanI'm afraidof thesnake. savage-eyedprotectors a ship's hulk that loomed ahead.
If in Perry primordial the snakehas preternatural itself intoconsciouspowerto thrust defile garden. father.but in the second part of it a restoration occurs.througha power not human. wealth. ." "a yellow 'sortof parrot'" (p. . his misery a a sergeant he'd knownin theArmy.Terrific! Like aroundCarmel. around. hear mylegs cracking.slaughtered themas they"pleaded formercy."(p." himawayto "paradise. Jesus. We wrestle sonofabitch23 I can'tgeta hold. theocean. concernsAfrica: the all "A jungle.it kindof makesme sick. 92) who "tallerthanJesus[and] yellowlike a sunflower.of unassailablesuperiority sena sationsthatin another versionweretransposed into "A real place. And afterward blessedascent!Ascensionto a paradisethatin the one version was merely"a feeling. knowthisbeforehand. Dewey's two hundred and forty acres. waters.. what may be actually strivenfor and even achieved (if only to suffer ultimateviolation)." warrior-angel blindedthenuns a then withits beak.I have the diamondin myhand.. he's a slippery about." 93) (p.
This content downloaded on Sat. thattree. .fed upon theireyes. 93) so gently lifted enfolded him. winged
"Thus". But I knowtheminute try a I to. And. .I'm pullingat it. a snakeis gonnafall on me.and theyare of not totally unlike Mr. plunging sliding drifting through strange of past the scaly.Jesus.So I go to pickone. prevent gaining there remains miraculous a him. And away down below .Represented thegreatyellowbird. heaping Such enrichments the fantasyhave an element of the conscious in them. Now comesthepartit makesme sweateven to think he starts swallowme.ButI figure.theminute reachup. but at once animal and divine: it manifests itselfas a "toweringbird. Fountains .in Animalsin Exile: Criminal Community Capote'sIn Cold Blood and
downward of towarda greenseadusk. by it can destroy only the snakebut also (and retroactively) the real sourcesof not all in his life: the nunswho beat him whenhe wet his bed. 93) Rarely. . Clutter's grove of fruittrees.
thesnake.it's beautiful Diamondslike oranges. his his and evenstart crush to and swallow ness.Capotecontinues.whenthe snakelands on top of me. . a Spanish of caskets gold.This I see? fatson of a bitch I livingin thebranches.A snakethatguardsthetree. But in Perry's fantasythereis a great deal that comes fromlevels well below that of consciousness. With whitemarblesteps.Feet first. does anything thegreatyellowbirdcometo his aid outsidethedream. Like out of a movie . a What it comesdownto Well.(p.it has blue leaves and diamonds hangingeverywhere.thatcustodian thediamond-bearing neverfinished himbut of tree. devouring was itselfdevoured. I'll takemychances."(p.There are like
23The ramifications thisdream of the One throughout novelare numerous.a drowned cargoofdiamonds pearls.however.See.one is particularlyrecurrent.levels of whichPerry becomes it aware only in truedreams. Of these." senseof power. . his (p. avenging power. Only. of themostpertinent is theparallelbetween description Perry's the of withthesnake(in thedream)and that fight ofa realfight with father 136). "older children.
their hard. his "Frères humains." (p. though there were thousands of patrons in the room a strangeaudience.as when Dick catches offthe Mexican coast a great sailfish thatreminds Perryof the yellow parrot(p. urinating. 120) and when he and Dick marchside by side down a highway.but. Of animals caught. when Perry looks not like a ravenous beast of prey.this last image helps restoreit to him. but "an perceives at the hanging. 341) Although animal imagery has exiled animal. tophattumbled.forsuddenly knewthatthesewerephanat entertainer last understood the the of the toms.theelectrocuted and thatthegoldpainted to he steps thesameinstant realizedthathe was there join them.112-113. a often been used in the novel to deprive Perry of his humanity. (p. In the experience just past there is nothing to compensate for his present state.The wordglory closely as relatedto Hickock a definition whatit is he desires is life (cf. less of his own making than of ours. He is trampling out the vintage where the " grapes of wrathare stored.has had kicksenough: holding a light when Perry shot the Clutters. Somethingof this Alvin Adams Dewey. hanged.25or puttingit to a Mexican whore and asking breathlessly. 239 and passim). runningdown a ragged dog on the highway.(p. 110. p. but his performance elicited no applause. baby? is it good?'" not caring that she makes no reply but only continues to smoke a cigarette.that throughthe "silence of the desert. young voices rang: 'Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!'"** But suchmomentsof glory are rare. in
This content downloaded on Sat. 319) In the dream he was once again Perry O'Parsons. ghosts thelegallyannihilated. apologize for an act that society had programmedhim to perform.'The bird is Jesus!'" (p. 232. 319) Perry defecating.a murderer.The fact is driven home in a finaldream that occurswhile he is in prison awaiting execution: Voices shriekedat him. the realist. 25 An episodeCapotedevelops considerable detail(cf.Of animals in hiding. eternity. Thus the dream of all that Perry Smith yearned to be is annihilated even before he himself is.the perspiring he theirsilence.' Then it was. Under the circumstancesit is ironic that in his final words he should but ironic or not. Of animals hunted. 290) Of animals running. theplatform which stoodwas opening O'Parsonsentered (p.mostlymen and mostlyNegroes. Capote continues." Perry's apology thatwe are not to harden our hearts against him. in the words of the poem. the famous night-clubsinger. recollectingthe life they had led between the time of the murderand theircapture.flashinghis smile to dupe tradesmenwho clearly want to be duped. his captor. creature walking wounded. gassed.pp. in him. to have pityon him. "'Where is Jesus. 155.Where?' And once he woke up shouting.
from of M P. has the ring of true humanityand remindsus. in which the he comes to increasinglyclear knowledge that he cannot possibly transfigure sordid and mundane into anythingbeautiful and transcendent.the book stronglyurges.106
GeorgeR.on the other hand. 147) Perry. Creeger
a few euphoric moments. the tough boy.His beneath he on that had led to a scaffold.Staringat them. Dick.singinga song that Perryhad taughthis companion: "'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.and 290)."'Is it good.Yet he is a murderer. and he is left with nothing but a confirmedsense of failure and the sad knowledge of what he is . particularlyfor Perry. says that it was like that of animals. 2 Feb 2013 14:52:49 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions