Winter Dreams: Analysis Questions

  1. The significance of the title “Winter Dreams”, is the meaning it plays in Dexter Green’s life. During the story Green meets the woman of his “dreams”, and he meets her in the “wintertime.” I think Fitzgerald chose winter and not any other seasons, because winter is used to represent aging or death, and Green had always looked down upon winter.
  2. The setting of “Winter Dreams” take place in Black Bear, Minnesota, and a majority of the story takes place at the Sherry Island Club. The golf club is significant in this story, because it’s there that Green and Jones meet for the first time when they’re younger, and again when they’re older, only to realize they both have feelings for each other. This golf club is also where Green realizes and discovers the rich and famous lifestyle, in which he wants for himself one day.
  3. Judy Jones seemed like a spoiled little, rich girl, who always got her way, when she was introduced to the story at 11 years old. She treated the nurse very rudely, as if she were beneath her. In a way, it seemed like a learned behavior, maybe she got it from her parents.

8. In part 1 of “Winter Dreams”, Fitzgerald describes eleven year old Jones’ mouth as,            “Her lips twisting down at the corners when she smiled.” He also went on to say that          her smile gave off a sense of “ungodliness”. Later on during part 2 of the story,                    Jones’ mouth is described as very mobile, and when she smirked it was described as          a twist of her mouth, and it was merely beautiful. This is significant, because I think         the difference in her mouth represents maturity. In fact, Fitzgerald states, “Her                   mouth gave a continual impression of flux, of intense life, of passionate vitality.”

10. The tune of the piano is significant to Green’s life, because it was played at his                      sophmore prom. This prom impacted him greatly, because he could not afford to get          in, and he remembers standing outside of the gymnasuium and listening to this                  tune. When he heard that tune again later on in life, he was in a much happier state,          and began to think that everything in his life was finnally going as planned, and it              was something he may never know again.

12. I would describe the adult Judy Jones as brain-washed by money and society. She               has grown up rich all of her life, and she is blinded by money, which is why she can’t         discover true happiness.

14. Dexter justifies Judy’s lying to him, because he is glad she has even gone through the        trouble of lying to him. Green felt like, if she lied to him, it was because she wnated to        spare his feelings, which meant that she cared about him, and his feelings.

15. When Autumn had come and gone again, Dexter realized that he could not have Judy         Jones, so he was practically depressed and defeated. This is totally oppistie of the               beginning of the story, when the fall filled him with “hope”, and a sort of “ecstatic               triumph.”

18. At the end of part IV Jones’ house is described as rigid and architectually permanent.        This house takes Green by suprise, because the house is the complete oppisite of                  Judy’s fleeting beauty. Green realizes that his big dreams of becoming rich,                           successful, and accepted by “upper social classes”, were very hollow, just as this house       had been.

20. “The dream was gone. Something had been taken away from him.” I am assuming that this means his ‘Winter Dreams’ were no longer in existence. He had let the worldly ways corrupt his mind, and was no longer the hopeful and “full of aspiration” person that he used to be.

21. Periodic Sentence: “Without elation, without an interval of moist glory, the cold was                                               gone.”

Compound Sentence: “The attitude of the city on his action was of no importance to                                                   him, not because he was going to leave the city, but because any                                               outside attitude on the situation seemed superficial.”

Compound-Complex Sentence: “Whenever one showed signs of dropping out through                                                                  long neglect, she granted him a brief honeyed hour,                                                                      which encouraged him to tag along for a year or so                                                                      longer.”

22. Dashes often take the place of other types of puncuation in informal writing, because       it indicates added emphasis, and interruption, or even an abrupt change of thought.

24. Example of Anaphora: “The strong walls, the steel of the girders, the breadth and                                                           beam….”


The Root Family, Edgar Allan Poe, and Transcendentalism Assessments:

Rayven Bailey                                                                                                               William Root Assessment:

During our field trip to the historical home of the Root family on Friday, I discovered a lot of information and facts about the Root family. Not only did I learn about the Roots, but I also found out some things I never even knew about the mid 1800’s.

  • The Root family consisted of 11 people, and their house had only 4 bedrooms.
  • Due to the limited amount of space in the house, they would have to share bedrooms. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Root’s bedroom held both the parents, there three youngest sons in one bed, and their baby Hannah in her “crib”.
  • They had two mattresses for their beds, in which were handmade. One mattress, which was made of straw/hay was for the summer time so that air could flow through it since it was hot. The other mattress was made of goose feathers, which was obviously for the winter time, in order to keep warm. Keep in mind there wasn’t any air conditioning or heating systems in the mid 1800’s.
  • The Root family was a middle class family during that time, and owned 4 slaves who lived in a shack/cabin in the back.
  • During the mid 1800’s kitchens were found outside. The Root family had a rather large kitchen outside, in which was separated from the house. The kitchens were found outside during this time period, because the house would become too hot when cooking inside, and it was very easy to cause a fire. Everything that was cooked, was either grown in Mrs. Root’s garden, or handpicked by her children.
  • During the 1850’s women, including little girls, were not allowed to show their ankles because it was considered scandal-like, and they were expected to be very graceful when playing outdoors. Meanwhile, the boys were allowed to run outside with their shoes off, and could practically do anything they wanted to. This is very different from today’s culture, thankfully!!

I loved being able to learn about the Root family, and the mid 1800’s American history.

Edgar Allen Poe Assessment:

  1. Write about Poe’s mother and father.                                                                                           A: Poe’s mother, Eliza was an actress and was very busy with performing, which was considered “trashy” back then. David Poe Jr., Poe’s father, abandoned his family when Poe was only 1 year old.
  1. How old was Poe when his mother died? What did she die from?                                         Poe was 3 years old when his mother died of tuberculosis.
  1. What happened to the orphaned Poe and his siblings?                                                               A: The three Poe children were separated into separate foster homes, due to being abandoned by their father, and the death of their mother.
  1. Who took in Poe and describe his upbringing.                                                                           A: The Allen family took in Edgar Allen Poe at the age of three. Poe’s upbringing had a huge influence on his behaviors during adulthood. Mr. Allen was known to be very tough on Poe, and as a result he became a strong athlete, a swimmer. Mr. Allen began having affairs on Mrs. Allen, when she became sick with tuberculosis, in the same house she was lying in. The affairs are known to have had a huge impact on Poe’s life.
  1. Describe some events of his adolescence.                                                                                   A: During Poe’s adolescence, he was very clever when it came to writing and art. By the age of 20 years old, he used his own funds to publish two poems. After moving to Virginia, Poe became a successful editor and critic. Many people thought of him as rude, because his critiques were very ruthless, and not only threatened the writing, but also the writer.
  1. Where did he go to college? Describe his experience there.                                                  A: Poe went to college at the University of Virginia in 1826. His foster father had a ton of money, but only gave Poe about a third of the fees he needed for school. Poe had done very well in his classes, but struggled to live an average life due to lack of money. He eventually started drinking heavily and became in debt. He was forced to quit school less than a year later.
  1. Why did Poe join the military and how well did he do?                                                           A: Poe joined the military after he and his foster father, John Allan, had a huge argument over the great amount of debt Poe was in. He joined the army under the assumed name of Edgar A. Perry, where he was very successful. In fact, he attained the rank of sergeant major.
  1. Who did he marry and what were the circumstances of the marriage?                               A: When Edgar Allen Poe moved to Virginia, he moved in with his aunt and his younger cousin. Three years later he realized that he was in love with his 1st cousin, Virginia. He married his cousin who was 13 years old at the time. Poe taught Virginia almost everything she knew and needed to know, Poe came across as more a father-figure, rather than a husband, and this was clearly due to the age gap.
  1. What poem did Poe write for his wife?                                                                                          A: Edgar Allan Poe wrote a poem called “Annabel Lee.” Many believe that Annabel Lee is supposed to represent Virginia Clem, Poe’s wife. After all, the poem is about a grieving and depressed husband, who just lost his wife.
  1. How, where, and what were the circumstances of Poe’s death?                                          A: Edgar Allan Poe died on October 7th, 1849. Poe’s body was found in an alley on the street somewhere. There are three different theories behind how Poe died. The first theory concludes that he died of a drug overdose (laudanum). The next theory is that Poe died of rabies. This is because when his body was found in the alley, there were scratches found on him. Rabies attacks the neurological system, and many people though Poe showed many signs of this overbearing disease. The final theory is what is called “voter fraud.” Many believe that Poe went to vote for a candidate, and on the way out of the building, other voters physically trampled him. All three of these conclusions, could very well be possible.

Transcendentalism Preview Assessment:

1A) B.

2B) A.

3A) C.

4B) D.

5A) C.

6B) A.

7) A.



Analysis Essay: Abigail Adams 

Rayven Bailey



        This document is a letter written by Abigail Adams on January 12, 1780, to which she sent her son, John Quincy Adams, when he was on a voyage with his father. The tone of this letter could be described as somber, but hopeful at the same time and slightly regretful. The various tones of this letter suggests that Mrs. Adams wants and is happy for her son to voyage and follow in her husband’s footsteps, but is worried about the dangers that could happen at sea, and she is beginning to regret letting John Quincy leave. For example, in the opening of the letter Mrs. Adams explains to her son, “I hope you have had no occasion, either from enemies or the dangers of the sea, to repent your second voyage to France.” This opening sentence suggests that Mrs. Adams doesn’t want her son to prolong his voyage onto France, although she is stating the complete opposite, you can tell she doesn’t mean the words in which she wrote. Through structure, detail and a somber yet hopeful tone, Mrs. Adams makes it clear that she genuinely misses her son John Quincy.  
            The tone is consistently changing throughout the passage, but towards the beginning of the letter, the tone would be described as somber or worried. Mrs. Adams is sad that John Quincy is away, but most of all she is worried for his safety while he is off voyaging. Towards the beginning of the letter Mrs. Adams states, “You, however, readily submitted to my advice, and I hope, will never have occasion yourself, nor give me reason, to lament it.” Abigail Adams uses emotional appeal to try to tell her son, how worried she is about something tragic happening to him. In fact, Mrs. Adams uses the word “lament.” The definition of lament means to feel, show, or express grief, sorrow or regret, or to mourn deeply. The word lament proposes that Adams is scared she will have to bury her son if he is killed at sea, the word lament also helps emphasize the emotional appeal she is trying to convey to her son.  

         Another tone discovered in Abigail Adams’s letter to her son, was regret. Her feeling of regret consumed her, as a result of continuously feeling somber and worried about her son John Quincy Adams. Mrs. Adams, full of guilt, explains to her son, “I should not have urged you to accompany your father and brother when you appeared so adverse to the voyage.” These regretful words imply and infer that, she practically forced her son to voyage with his father and brother. Although he was very opposed to voyaging, she urged and pushed John Quincy to follow in the men of his family’s footsteps. When Mrs. Adams begins to reminisce her son’s pessimistic views about voyaging, she is immediately consumed with regret, for making him do something in which he didn’t enjoy. 

         One last tone included in this passage, was a sense of hopefulness. Even while Mrs. Adams was feeling sad and regretful for sending her son off, she still managed to find the positive in this situation. Adams is hopeful that her son will gain skills he didn’t have before, while off voyaging. Abigail uses an asyndeton to list some of the characteristics that she hopes her son will bring back. “Nothing is wanting with you but attention, diligence and steady application.” These are just a few of the skills Mrs. Adams wishes for her son John Quincy. The most hopeful text in the entire letter lies in the last paragraph when she states, “The strict and inviolable regard you have ever paid to truth, gives me pleasing hopes that you will not swerve from her dictates, but add justice, fortitude, and every manly virtue which can adorn a good citizen, do honor to your country, and render your parents supremely happy, particularly your ever affectionate mother.” These words represent hopefulness in the case of Abigail Adams, because she believes that her son will be able to achieve everything, in which she mentioned, one day. This quote also implies that the Adams’ family has always had great respect for the country even before becoming the First Family, and are all in some way involved with honoring the country.

         Abigail Adams’ use of many emotions, probably helped her son to better understand what his mother was portraying to him in the letter. Mrs. Adams’ somberness helped John Quincy realize how much his mother actually loved him. Her regret portrayed how apologetic she was for pushing her son so hard to go on the voyage. Finally, one of the most important emotions displayed throughout the letter, hope, revealed what kind of person Mrs. Adams’ was and how much she believed in her son and her country. Her hope also displayed that even though she felt like this sad situation was blinding her, she still was able to see the positive possibilities. Her patriotic spirit would come in hand, when she would go on to be the 2nd First Lady of, The United States of America.



Argument Essay on Disobedience: 2/1/17

Rayven Bailey



  Disobedience- The active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. It is disobedience and rebellion that have both hurt and have shaped our world. In 1891 Oscar Wilde made an eye-opening statement, declaring, “Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.” I wholeheartedly agree with Wilde’s statement, but I do believe there are limits when it comes to defying certain ideas and laws.

    Being a free-spirited, African-American, teenage, girl; I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it means to want social progress. Along with wanting social progress, comes rebellion and disobedience. Instead of determining whether disobedience is a “good or bad thing,” I think we need to decipher when disobedience is good and when it’s bad.

  You may be asking yourself, Well, when is rebellion bad? In my opinion disobedience is bad when it hurts someone else, or when rebellion is taken out of hand and is not peaceful. For example, say someone disagreed with the law against drinking and driving. They go out, get drunk, say, “I’m gonna be a rebel”, and speeds off in their car; putting hundreds of lives in danger. This is a classic example of bad rebellion, because their intentions were negative. Their intentions were not to end a harmful law, they purposefully put others in danger because they wanted to be a rebel.

    When most people hear the words “disobedience” and “rebellion,” they immediately picture a negative connotation. Just as there are circumstances when rebellion is bad, there are also circumstances when rebellion is a positive act. In fact, in the majority of cases it is necessary to be rebellious in order to do the right thing. Similar to Oscar Wilde’s quote, I believe that disobedience is the engine of progressive social change. For instance, if we take it all the way back to when slavery existed in America, you can see how it took slavery revolts and millions of the American people protesting, for there to finally be an end to slavery. Another example of good rebellion was segregation. Martin Luther King led peaceful marches and protests, in order to try and put an end to the division of races in this nation, and an attempt to end white supremacy. I consider these positive, because the intentions of their disobedience was to help people, and to help the country move forward not backwards. In both of these examples they were looking out for other people, fighting for the basic rights of a human being, and doing so without intentionally putting anyone in harms way.

    Disobedience and rebellion happens very often, but seems to have been at it’s peak the past couple of weeks. Millions of people all over the world participated in the women’s rights march, protesting against our new President’s disrespectful thoughts, actions and words towards females. The LGBTQ Community partook in protesting the president’s decision to try and put an end to same-sex marriage. Immigrants from all around the nation marched and protested against the president’s idea of building a wall to block off certain immigrants from entering America. African-Americans marched for the unjustified killings and high incarceration rates of our black brothers and sisters. If you asked me, it seems like we are moving in the wrong direction. This country has fought too hard and has sacrificed too much to start moving backwards. This is exactly why we must continue to speak up for all of our rights. No matter how many times the government and the media attacks the idea of disobedience, we should always be proud to disobey unjust laws.


The Crucible Ending Rewrite

Rayven Bailey                                                                                                                                           1/23/17                                                                                                                                                               1st

In the play The Crucible, hundreds of people in Salem are accused of witchcraft. The truth that the town does not know is that Abigail Williams and a group her friends were dancing in the forest with Tituba, who was “summoning spirits” with wicked chants. Betty Parris turns out to be unconscious the next morning and that is when all of the questions begin. Abigail lies to her uncle, reverend Parris, and says they were only dancing in the forest, nothing else. She then tells all of the girls that if any of them said a word, she would kill them. As time passes, more and more people are accused of the witchcraft; little does the town know Abigail Williams is lying to the courts, and falsely accusing others of participating in this made up evil spirit.

One day Elizabeth Proctor is accused of witch craft, and her husband John Proctor knows Abigail has lied about this. The court day finally arrives that will determine Elizabeth’s, Abigail’s, and John Proctor’s fate. Abigail and John Proctor arrive to the court, when John admits to adultery with Abigail.

Danforth asks, “Have you participated in adultery with Mr. Proctor, Abigail?” Abigail lies and denies it. “She’s lying, she’s lying,” says John Proctor. The court tells Abigail and John to face the wall, as they bring in Elizabeth Proctor. Danforth publically asks Mrs. Proctor, “Did your husband and Abigail Williams commit adultery?”

“Yes. I saw them with my own two eyes, although I chose to keep it a secret,” said Elizabeth. A startling piercing scream comes from Abigail, “How could you trust her word?! The devil with holds her spirit!” John Proctor viciously replies with, “Abigail, why do you continue to lie? Danforth, she lies, she is jealous of my wife and would do anything to get her killed, so she can be with me. Why don’t you understand that?” Realizing she is beginning to lose this fight, Abigail screams, “Ahhhh! Stop that Elizabeth! She has sent a devil’s creature to come get me.” She continues to act possessed and to point to the sky as if something is coming down to attack her. All of the other girls in the court room join in, when unexpectedly Danforth yells, “Stop! All of you stop lying! Abigail, I have seen you do this in each court case, you do something out of the ordinary and they follow along.” All of the girls come to a stop, when Abigail realizes she is the only one still acting possessed. She looks up and takes a view of the room, and begins to sprint out of the court room.

“Stop her,” yells Danforth. Abigail is headed to the lake where she is planning on drowning herself, but the guards finally catch her. Abigail breaks into tears, suddenly crying out, “God forgive me; it was all a lie. I was jealous! All I wanted was John Proctor. I never meant for any of this to happen.”

John and Elizabeth stand together across from Abigail when John says with tears and pain in his eyes, “It’s too late now Abigail; look at what you have done to this town.” A cold and bitter silence fills the outdoors. Reverend Paris approaches Abigail, “Do you mean to tell me I have falsely accused innocent people of witchcraft, not only accused them, but had them hung?” “Oh, dearest uncle,” cries Abigail. “Please have mercy on me. Heal me with your holy hand. If you do not have me hung, I promise to…” Reverend Paris grabs Abigail’s hand and interrupts her with, “I am afraid that the holiest hands could not heal you, my child. The most forgiving could not forgive you, why look at all of the innocent lives you have taken.” He stares into her dark, cold eyes for a long while; sorrowfully, he finally drops her hand and walks away. “Have Abigail Williams taken away to her hanging this instant,” demands Danforth. The fearful Abigail Williams cries, “No, I do not want to die this way. Please don’t take my life, I beg of you.”

  When they arrive at the hanging scene, Abigail steps upon the platform of the hanging block. When the jailer throws the rope around her neck, he whispers from behind her into her ear, “Look at all the damage you have done. Now all the lies have come back to haunt you. May the lord have mercy on your damaged soul.” Numb to the world and all emotions, Abigail speaks her last words, “I have nothing left to lose.” Elizabeth stands watching with bitterness, pain, and joy in her eyes. The rope is at once pulled, and Elizabeth whispers with absolute disgust, “May her dead soul rot in the pits of hell.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The End.


This rewrite to the ending of The Crucible is very different from Miller’s version of the story. In this story, instead of John Proctor being the one who dies, Abigail Williams dies in the end. This clearly changes Miller’s theme of the story, which is redemption. In the original version of The Crucible, John Proctor receives redemption when he chooses to not sign the letter that says he committed the witchcraft crimes that he did not commit. This letter will be hung on the church doors for everyone to see. The catch is that if he signs this he could live on, but if he refuses, he will be hung. Proctor knows he did not commit these crimes and refuses to sign it, because he would rather die with his dignity and letting people know he was innocent; rather than live, with people believing those were his actions. The moment before he is hung, Proctor begins stating The Lord’s Prayer. In this very moment, Proctor redeemed himself. In other words, he saves himself from all sin. In this rewrite of the ending of The Crucible, John Proctor gets to live on, while Abigail is the one who dies. Obviously, there was no redemption found in this ending, because John Proctor continues to live his life. Abigail, on the other hand, dies with no resentment or remorse. She does not say The Lord’s Prayer before she is hung; in fact, she doesn’t even feel bad about what she did. Abigail Williams never saved herself from sin and evil before she died, therefore there was no redemption in this rewritten story. Instead, the theme of this rewritten story is karma. Abigail plays all of these vicious tricks throughout the story, and constantly is getting caught in another lie. Karma would be the overall theme, because in the end she reaps what she has sewn. She caused hundreds of deaths throughout the village, and now her life is being taken from her at a very young age. Abigail Williams thought she would continue to get away with her monumental lies. However, her lies caught up to her, and she began swimming in them, until she could no longer swim, her only option was to sink.




Essay 3: In Cold Blood: The Corner

Rayven Bailey                                                                                            Summer Reading

Not much happened in the final chapter “The Corner.” In the beginning of this section Dick and Perry are incarcerated and waiting for their trial. Dick and Perry are not allowed to stay together, so Dick is put in county jail, while Perry stays at Wendle Meier, the sheriff, and his wife’s home. Perry actually ends up thinking as the Meier’s as friends, because they treat him so well. In this chapter readers find out the truth about what happened the night of the murder. Perry admits that he killed the entire Clutter family, and Dick didn’t kill the two women. During their time locked up, both consider escaping but both of their plans are put to an end. Perry also considered suicide and that’s when their sanity was considered, but both turned out to be legally sane presently and the time of the killing. Officials then look over the statement that Perry made after the killings, he said they couldn’t stop laughing and felt high while they burying evidence and cleaning themselves up. By this time all of the factual and physical evidence was found by investigators and they were ready for trial. Both Dick and Perry were supplied with lawyers even though they truly didn’t have a chance of winning this case. During the time period of the trial, Perry tells an old friend that he is not sorry and feels no regrets for the crime in which he committed. Also, during this time, the property and belongings of the Clutter’s are finally sold, including Nancy Clutter’s horse Babe. The trial finally comes to an end, when both Dick and Perry are not only found guilty, but they’re also sentenced to death. Dick and Perry are both required to stay at death row for a total of five years. During these five years, they both attempt to do things that they think will appeal their conviction such as, playing crazy and even looking for attorneys to appeal their convictions. At the end of the day they were both very unsuccessful, because on April 14, 1964 Dick and Perry were put to death. Capote leaves readers with a more positive feeling, where Susan Kidwell and Al Dewey met in a graveyard. Susan talks about how she is now attending college and living in New York, just like she and her best friend Nancy had planned, showing us that both Al and Susan had moved on and were living in the present.


One quote that really stood out to me was found on page 303 when Judge Tate says, “Regardless of who pulled the trigger on Richard Eugene Hickock’s shotgun, both men are equally guilty.” This quote may be one of the most important statements in the book, because this is when readers find out that justice is served for the Clutter. In other words, this is when Capote lets us know that Dick and Perry sentenced to death. What this quote adds to In Cold Blood, is its sense of closure. Capote finally lets readers know what happens to the two criminals in the ends, and that’s something we’ve been waiting to find out throughout the entire novel. This quote stood out to me in particular, because I agree with the judge’s statement. Everyone is focused on pointing fingers, when in reality they both thought through the plans and knew what they were doing when they did it. Another reason I identified with this quote is because of my religion. I’ve always been taught that God views all sins equally, and that’s the way we should see them as well. Therefore, no matter who shot who or how many people, both of the crimes they committed were equally as evil. I must add on some things that disagree with on his statement. Isn’t killing Dick and Perry, just as bad as them murdering the Clutter family? This is one of the reasons I don’t know if I completely agree with the death penalty, because it’s like trying to fight fire with fire. This quote foreshadows that the two criminals, Dick and Perry, would spend a miserable time in death row, and it reveals that they will both be put to death. The second quote I noticed was when Capote wrote, “Death row is known as the corner.” This quote is very important, because it explains to the readers why the name of the chapter is “The Corner.” This quote reveals that in “the corner” of Lansing Penitentiary, there is a small enclosure called death row, and when people go to the corner, that means they are being killed. One reason this quote stood out to me is because of Truman Capote’s pure brilliance, intelligence and cleverness once again. I think it is so unique to take such an irrelevant topic, and make it the name of the entire topic. Capote probably made “The Corner” the name of the chapter in order to bring more attention to the small but powerful statement. In my opinion, this quote is trying to foreshadow the fact that Perry and Dick are going to end up in that corner, sooner or later. Like I said before, this quote reveals the meaning behind the name of the entire chapter.


Once again, one of my favorite things about this piece of literature is Capote’s use of rhetorical devices. One I noticed on page 275 was when Perry Smith said, “I loved my father but there were times when this love and affection I had for him drained from my heart like wasted water.” This is an example of a simile. A simile is the comparison of two different subjects, using the words like or as. The simile was used when Perry said his love for him drained “like” wasted water. This simile enhances the meaning of what Perry is saying, because he describes his love for his dad as wasted, almost as if it was a waste of energy and a waste of time. Without this device we wouldn’t understand how much pain Perry is truly in, because of his father. Capote placed the simile in this specific spot, because Perry was trying to be claimed as psychotic. Capote is telling us that, Perry tried and attempted to love his father, but his father always turned his back on him leaving him bitter and in so much pain. Perry wanted his father text to love him, but all he ever did was turn his back on Perry and neglect him. After a while Perry just gave up on trying so hard to earn his father’s love, and drained all of the love and affection like wasted water from his heart. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. Capote gives an excellent example of a metaphor on page 272, “Wearing an open-necked shirt (borrowed from Mr. Meier) and blue jeans rolled up at the cuffs, [Perry] looked as lonely and inappropriate as a seagull in a wheat field. Using the metaphor, Capote compares Perry in court to a seagull in a wheat field. Capote’s description of Perry explains to readers how out of place Perry was, because of using the metaphor. The author places this statement in the courtroom scene, in an attempt to build tension. Without the use of this metaphor, I don’t think readers would understand the severity of how unprofessional and pathetic Perry not only looked but felt in this setting. The last use of rhetorical evidence I noticed were the very last words of the novel. “The whisper of the wind voices in the wind-beat wheat.” This is an example of alliteration which is, the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. Capote uses alliteration seamlessly by using only words beginning in Whi- or W. I believe Capote placed these words at the very ending of the book, because not only did he want to close it off with a sense of peace, but he also wanted to end the book speaking about scenery, just as he started the piece of literature off with. At the very beginning of this book in The Last to See Them Alive, you can find Capote narrating on the beautiful hills of wheat and I think it’s very unique and creative to have ended the book in the same fashion. This practically showed that although their town went through a treacherous time, they rose up and made it through perfectly fine. The use of alliteration adds a sense of closure, peace and ultimately unity in the town of Holcomb.


How could there possibly be only one theme when it comes to this astonishing piece of literature? There are so many themes involved within In Cold Blood including loss of innocence, evil/sociopaths, dreams failed, dreams achieved and so many other topics. When it comes to the loss of innocence so many characters in the novel have experienced that, so that’s why it is so important throughout the text. Perry’s innocence was taken away when he was hurt by his father, mother, orphanage and own family as a child. Dick and Perry took away the innocence of four awesome lives, including “innocent” children. This just goes to show that when you lose your innocence, you lose yourself. The theme of “dreams failed and dreams achieved” plays a huge role in this piece of literature, because that was basically the whole reason the Clutter family was killed. Dick and Perry were underachievers, didn’t reach their goals and weren’t living the rich life that they both had dreamed of. In return they killed a family that were very successful, rich, full of character and ultimately just like you and I. The last theme that I wanted to focus on was the evil and the sociopaths. When I hear the word evil I immediately think of the character Perry Smith, and when I hear his name I think of the word sociopath. Like I said in previous essays, he is someone that can charm anyone he meets, but is truly evil in his heart. I’m not calling Perry evil just because he killed the Clutter family, but because he said he doesn’t regret a thing he did and that he feels no remorse. On top of this he states that he laughed hysterically after the killings. That is my perfect definition of sociopath.


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote was such an awesome piece of literature. Like I have said time and time again, Capote is such a unique and clever artist/author. Anyone who can turn this boring, gloomy and tragic true story into something so powerful and intriguing, deserves to be called a master mind. Aside from Capote, this story has made me open my eyes and has helped me to realize the world in which we live in. In the heart I almost feel heartbroken for the Clutter family, but for Nancy in particular. I think this is because I can relate most to Nancy, since she’s a teenage girl, heavily involved in the community, and has huge dreams and plans for herself. I feel heartbroken, because she never got to experience the things that she wanted most in life such as going to college, moving to New York with her best friend, getting married, and so much more that she never got to do because her life was taken away from her too soon. In the mind,                   I must admit that the story, “In Cold Blood” makes me a little paranoid. If I hear a creak downstairs at night, my heart starts to race and I immediately take defense. This may be because I’m a “scaredy cat”, but thinking about someone killing my whole family freaks me out! Although In Cold Blood did quite frighten me, it truly has opened my eyes to what some people in world are really like and what people are capable of. Truman Capote did a great job of helping me to be aware of my surroundings. If there is anything I’m taking from this piece of literature, it is to live life to the fullest because anything could happen in the blink of an eye. Like I’ve said numerous times Truman is such a clever artist, and he is the reason In Cold Blood is such a unique novel. Anyone who not only takes a true story and turns it into an astonishing, mysterious novel, but also finds out every detail of every event, is a clever person in my eyes. Capote’s dedication to the story shows in his writing, and that is what makes the book not only interesting to read, but unique. Another reason this book stands out and is so unique is because of it’s variety. In this piece of literature, Capote made you feel bored, anxious, angry, sympathetic, angry again and said all at the same time. His clever usage of moods, are what kept readers hooked, rather than them feeling one emotion throughout the whole novel. I am so excited that In Cold Blood was assigned as our summer reading, because this book opened so many windows for me. I am specifically happy that I was able to read some of Capote’s work, because until now I had never heard of him, and I think I could really look up to him as a writer, given that I want to minor in journalism. In Cold Blood was one of a kind, and a novel that I will carry in my memory long from now.

Essay 2: In Cold Blood: Answer

Rayven Bailey                                                                                            Summer Reading


Part three of In Cold Blood is titled, Answer. This is the section of the book where readers will finally have all of their questions about the murdering of the Clutter family answered. This chapter starts off with Floyd Wells, one of Dick Hickock’s former cell mates, hearing about the Clutter case on the news. Wells then realizes that he knows exactly who killed the Clutter family. Wells had told Dick about Mr. Clutter and all of his money, Dick became more interested and asked about the setup of their house, where they lived, and found out that Herb Clutter had a safe in his office. He told Wells that he and his partner Perry would kill them all, but of course he didn’t believe him. When released from jail, he met with Perry and told him about the money, and went on their journey to kill each one of the Clutter’s. When Wells reported that he knew who the murderers were, Dick and Perry were not long after arrested for stealing a car in Las Vegas. Dewey was informed of the two criminals and made his way toward them. This is the part of the chapter where the readers get to find out what actually happened in the Clutter home on the night of the killings. Based on Perry’s description Dick was too scared to kill anyone and “chickened out”, so out of anger Perry ended up killing Mr. Clutter and Kenyon. Perry also stated that Dick was the one to shoot the two women upstairs. Dick, on the other hand describes Perry killing each and every family member, but to this day no one knows which the true story. The two criminals Dick and Perry, were brought back to Kansas to be thrown into jail. They were approached by an anger-filled crowd that threatened them with hateful comments, until the crowd saw the two men, everyone drew silent surprised that they looked like the average human-being. Once the two men were in jail, Capote informs us that the year’s first snow began to fall.


The first quote that stood out to me was during a flashback of Perry talking to his sister Barbra (Bobo) during his teenage years, “You think I like myself? Oh, the man I could’ve been! But that bastard never gave me a chance. He wouldn’t let me go to school. O.K. O.K. I was a bad kid. But the time came when I begged to go to school. I happen to have a brilliant mind. In case you don’t know. A brilliant mind and talent plus. But no education, because he didn’t want me to learn anything, only how to tote and carry for him. Dumb. Ignorant. That’s the way he wanted me to be. So that I could never escape him. But you Bobo. You went to school. You and Jimmy and Fern. Every damn one of you got and education. Everybody but me. And I hate you, all of you- Dad and everybody.” This quote is very important, because Perry is talking about his father, and it explains the reason Perry is so angry towards him and everyone else in his life. He is so angry because he had dreams and plans for himself, but he was never even given the opportunity to fulfill them. I think Capote’s goal was to make the reader feel sympathetic for Perry and to show us the reason why Perry acts the way he does. Without this quote it would have taken away from this piece of literature, because I wouldn’t have as good of an understanding as to why Perry is so angry at everyone. This quote reveals that Perry actually does think very highly of himself and does think he’s a very brilliant and creative person. This quote also reveals part of the reason that Perry killed the Clutter family, he was jealous their family had educations, jobs, money and that they were living the American dream, while he wasn’t. Perry always knew he was smart, knew that he could make something out of himself and if his father would’ve let him go to school he could be somebody. These are just a few of the reasons that he exudes his anger in the wrong way. The second quote I noticed from Answer comes from page 246, when Capote is explaining how Dewey felt when speaking to Perry. Capote states, “Nonetheless, he found it possible to look at the man beside him without anger- with, rather, a measure of sympathy- for Perry Smith’s life had been no bed of roses but pitiful, and ugly and lonely progress toward one mirage and then another. Dewey’s sympathy, however, was not deep enough to accommodate either forgiveness or mercy. He hoped to see Perry and his partner hanged- hanged back to back.” This is so very important, because it is saying no matter how hard Perry’s life was, that was no excuse for murdering a whole family. It was something so cruel and vicious, and they definitely deserve a harsh punishment. This quote almost adds a sense of closure to the piece of literature, because it is telling readers that the criminals are caught and they will pay for what they did. This quote stood out to me, because I personally started feeling pity for Perry, but this quote is what put my brain back into perspective. Perry is no better than any other criminal, and this role he played of an “innocent criminal” was so deceiving. In my opinion this statement foreshadows that Dick Hickock and Perry Smith will be killed in the next chapter, in order to pay for murdering the Clutter family. Capote’s detailed description of Dewey’s emotion, reveals how easy it is to be fooled into feeling sorry for someone, even when you know how untrustworthy that specific person is. This quote also reveals that Dewey would not be tricked into letting them off easy or even feeling any bit of sympathy for the two criminals, no matter how hard their lives were. In my opinion, having a tough childhood and upbringing is no excuse for murdering people, Perry is now an adult and he has control over his own actions and thoughts.


One thing I absolutely enjoy about Truman Capote’s writing is his clever use of rhetorical devices and his style of writing. One rhetorical element that stood out to me was on page 194. Capote writes, “The sound of Dick’s voice was like an injection of some potent narcotic, a drug that, invading his veins, produced a delirium of colliding sensations: tension and relief, fury and affection.” Capote uses a simile to compare the effect of Dick’s voice to a narcotic. A simile allows you to compare two different things, using the words like or as. This simile enhances the meaning of what Dick is saying, because not only is Capote telling us what Dick said, but he is describing to us how the sound of Dick’s voice is almost “addicting” like a narcotic to Perry. I believe Capote placed this statement in this specific location, because Perry was by himself and was finally about to start a better life on his own. Because the readers felt sympathetic for Perry, they were probably excited Perry was getting rid of Dick and turning his life around, but right when they got their hopes up here comes Dick, in which Perry cannot resist his assistance. Without this rhetorical device the reader may have not understood that when Perry heard Dick’s voice how angry he was but relieved at the same time. The next rhetorical device I noticed was found on page 165 when Capote describes how Dewey’s wife feels about him working this case, “His state of was bad; he was emaciated; and he was smoking sixty cigarettes day.” This quote is an impeccable example of a hyperbole. A hyperbole is an exaggerated statement or claim that is not meant to be taken seriously. The hyperbole of this statement is when Capote explains Dewey as smoking sixty cigarettes a day, clearly this is an exaggeration, for that would be completely over doing it. This hyperbole definitely enhanced the meaning of this statement, because Capote wanted to let us know that Dewey turned to smoking cigarettes due to the stress of the case. I personally think Capote placed a hyperbole at this point just to add some humor into the story. Yes, it was sad that Dewey was sacrificing his own mental and physical health over a case, but by exaggerating the amount of cigarettes he goes through adds a sense of humor. Without this use of exaggeration, I don’t think the reader would have as good of an understanding as to how this case has effected Dewey’s health and well-being. Another rhetorical device I noticed that Truman Capote enjoys using is irony. In this book alone he uses both dramatic and situational irony. Dramatic irony is a situation in which the characters are oblivious to, but the audience is not. Situational irony is when both the characters and the audience are fully unaware of the implications of the real situation. At the beginning of this book Capote used dramatic irony, because we knew that the Clutter family was going to be murdered, but they didn’t know. This book is also dramatic irony because the audience knows who murdered the Clutter family, but none of the characters in the town know who. However, this piece of literature is also situational irony because neither the audience nor the characters know how the Clutter family was murdered. One example I found of situational irony is on page 244 when Perry states, “I didn’t want to hurt the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.” This sentence is an example of irony, because although Perry thought he was “a nice gentleman” he still proceeded to “cut his throat.” Capote placed this statement in this specific location, because no one saw it coming. I don’t think any of the readers were expecting Perry to have killed Mr. Clutter, because throughout the whole novel he was made out to be the “innocent” guy. This rhetorical element definitely had great usage, because it adds a sense of horror, shock and ultimately, irony.


Before I read the section of the novel, Answer, I noted that the theme of the book was about dreams achieved and dreams failed, I still believe this plays a huge role in this novel, but so do some other factors. Like I said before, Dick and Perry’s reason for killing the Clutter family was because they couldn’t seem to achieve any of their aspirations. Therefore, to make themselves feel better they killed some successful people thinking they would get something rewarding out of it. When it comes to Perry, he knows he had the ability to be successful but his father held him back, he then became bitter and angry at anyone successful, but still was a very brilliant and creative man. As we read more into this section we learn that Perry did most of the killing, and the crazy part is he felt no remorse. I think readers were shocked, because Perry played the guy who always followed along and we thought he was a good man at heart. Therefore, I would have to say one of the leading themes in this book is a “sociopath.” A sociopath is someone who lacks a conscience, they’re often liked because of their charm and high charisma, but usually don’t care about other people, they think mainly of themselves and often blame others for things they do. In my opinion these sound like all the characteristics of Perry Smith. All of the readers fell in love with his quirky personality and pure brilliance, until we found out he felt no “remorse” about killing the Clutter family. Another thing Perry has in common with sociopaths, is that he tried to blame all of the crimes he committed on his father not letting him go to school. I would say this has to be a theme, because no one was expecting Perry to be the man that had no heart, the “evil” one of the two, or the man that killed most of the clutter family. There are many themes throughout this entire piece of literature, but this is one that stuck with me throughout this whole section.


Like I said during the first part of this novel, this is the type of book that makes you wonder if you can actually trust the ones around you. Unfortunately, this story has closed some doors for me, because I feel like I can’t trust people without really investigating them. However, it has shown me that I really need to get to know the person before fully trusting them. The character Perry reminds me of that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” In other words, I’ve come to realize that just because a person seems one way, does not mean that they are actually that type of person. It’s also taught me that even though you won’t know one’s personality from the beginning, eventually their true colors will show. Outside of the actual story, In Cold Blood has taught me a ton academically. I personally think this is because it’s written by such an amazing author, Truman Capote. Capote showed me that you can take a true story and turn it into an astonishing work of art. As I was reading this book I couldn’t help but to think about all of the time he had to spend gathering information on this story, interviewing townspeople and interviewing the criminals. I think of Capote as extremely clever for the writing of this book, because he knew people wouldn’t just want to read about what happened to the Clutter’s, but he knew readers wanted the full scope of the entire story from before to after, and he made that happen so seamlessly. Usually when you see something on the news or in an article you can’t find the full story, and that’s another thing that makes this text so unique. Another reason I appreciate Truman Capote’s work, is because of his use of imagery. Everything I’ve read in this book, I was able to imagine and picture it in my mind. He has a great use of vocabulary, and he helps you feel like you are actually involved in the story that you’re reading about. In college I plan on minoring in journalism, and I can only hope that I will be half the writer in which he is. This has been a great piece of literature so far, and I am curious to see what else will happen since the criminals have already been caught.