The frequent switch of narrators provides the reader with a variety of emotions or reactions. Just like Capote’s tone varies whether in Dick and Perry’s perspective or the Clutter’s perspective, the way he presents the characters is just the same. For example, as Dewey the investigator questions Perry about his involvement in the murders he ends the interrogation session by mentioning that the next day would have been Nancy Clutter’s birthday and that she would have been seventeen. This gets under Perry’s skin and he starts to question his ally and alibi. Then the narration switches to Dick who is in a cell the floor below wondering how safe he is for the same reasons. Once they are accused the way they respond differentiates who they really were and how different they were from each other. When the murders occurred, it felt like they were a matched pair with the same thought processes and emotional responses. Capote is able to describe Perry in a way that allows the reader to feel a little bit sorry for him-he had a rough childhood and shows he has a conscience. Perry looked up to Dick and thought of him as a leader where as Dick takes no responsibility and ultimately accuses Perry of the whole crime.
Narration July 10, 2012