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Symbolism And Diction In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Everybody has desires that constantly weigh over their heads, pushing them to be diligent in all their endeavors, but what would you do if you knew that one day you would no longer have the opportunity to fulfill these desires? Everybody lives their lives so focused on the end goal that they are oblivious to the world around them, and the sad part is that in some cases the end goal is unattainable or never reached because the person dies. In In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes symbolism and descriptive diction to tell his readers Perry’s wants and wishes. Throughout this subchapter the reader is able to learn more about how Perry feels in the moments after the Clutter family murder. The reader learns that Perry wishes he was loved by others…show more content…
The subchapter starts with Perry and Otto, the Hamburg vacationer singing about, “some folks [that] say the worst of us they can, but when we’re dead and in our caskets, they always slip some lilies in our hand” (Capote 117). On the surface they are merely singing a song, but the words tell the reader about the pain they feel. Perry is singing about the deceptive people in his life, who talk bad about him, but then go to his funeral as if they care. The first person that comes to mind with this lyric is Perry’s sister, Barbara, whom he detests very much. Barbara claims to love her brother, but tells the detective how fearful of him she is. In his eyes, Perry sees this as betrayal and may be a large part of the reason he detest her. Capote uses this lyric because it foreshadows the death of Perry. Otto and Perry conclude the song by asking “won’t you give me flowers while I’m living” (Capote 117). This lyric is essential because the “lilies” and the “flowers” symbolize mercy. He is pleading with the world to give him mercy while he is alive, not after he is dead. In other words he is begging the world not to kill him through the capital punishment, but instead grant him mercy and allow him to live out his life in prison. Perry knows that what he did as wrong, but he does not thing he deserves the capital punishment because nobody wants to
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