Friendship and Betrayal in Literature

During this section of Capote’s book, I noticed some parallels between the events of the book and other things I have experienced, witnessed, or read about. One such parallel is between when Dick and Perry get arrested. Dick ends up essentially betraying Perry through ratting him out to the investigators and pinning the entire murder on him in order to make an attempt at freeing himself at the expense of his former friend and companion. This abrupt change is reminiscent of a similar happening in a book named “Eldest,” by Christopher Paolini.

In that book, the protagonist, Eragon, is betrayed by a close friend of his. His friend, Murtagh, pledged himself over to the tyrannical king Eragon has devoted his life to overthrowing in exchange for clemency. This act of his proves to be a great obstacle in Eragon’s path, as he has not one, but now 2 extremely powerful enemies he must face. In this scenario, Dick does to Perry what Murtagh did to Eragon.

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However, one distinction is that for Murtagh, it worked out for the short few months that followed before eventually failing. A major theme at play here is betrayal, which is also a recurring theme throughout “In Cold Blood.” In this part of the book especially, Dick is characterized as extremely selfish, while Perry is left to be the victim of Dick. Dick evidently thinks that killing the Clutter’s was no big deal, and when faced with a harsh sentence in jail, he decides the last thing he wants to do is to save himself while also condemning Perry to the same sentence.

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It is very likely that Dick only has Perry around to use him. This is reminiscent of the happenings in nearly every book that contains a tyrannical antagonist.

In a book of the same series named “Eragon,” by Christopher Paolini, one character we are introduced to is a powerful dark magic user named Durza. In this scenario, Durza is under the control of the tyrannical king, who uses him to do tasks he sees as unfit for him to undertake. Galbatorix, the king, cares nothing for Durza, which is a parallel to how Dick treats Perry. While some things are different (Galbatorix does not try to blame Durza for something to get himself out of trouble), Galbatorix does treat him with obvious derision.

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Friendship and Betrayal in Literature. (2022, Jan 20). Retrieved from

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