In Cold Blood


Truman Capote

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Death Row Symbol Icon
Kansas State Penitentiary’s Death Row is housed in a coffin-shaped building, which clearly (and somewhat ham-handedly) symbolizes the end of the line for Perry Smith and Dick Hickok. The cells in Death Row look out on the shed that houses that gallows, known by the inmates as The Corner.

Death Row Quotes in In Cold Blood

The In Cold Blood quotes below all refer to the symbol of Death Row. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dreams Failed, Dreams Achieved Theme Icon
Part 4 Quotes

Soldiers don’t lose much sleep. They murder, and get medals for doing it. The good people of Kansas want to murder me – and some hangman will be glad to get the work. It’s easy to kill – a lot easier than passing a bad check. Just remember: I only knew the Clutters maybe an hour. If I’d really known them, I guess I’d feel different. I don’t think I could live with myself. But the way it was, it was like picking targets off in a shooting gallery.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith (speaker), Herb Clutter, Bonnie Clutter, Nancy Clutter, Kenyon Clutter
Related Symbols: Death Row
Page Number: 291
Explanation and Analysis:

Well, what’s there to say about capital punishment? I’m not against it. Revenge is all it is, but what’s wrong with revenge? …I believe in hanging. Just so long as I’m not the one being hanged.

Related Characters: Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickok (speaker)
Related Symbols: Death Row
Page Number: 336
Explanation and Analysis:

I think…it’s a helluva thing to take a life in this manner. I don’t believe in capital punishment, morally or legally. Maybe I had something to contribute, something – It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even inappropriate. But I do. I apologize.

Related Characters: Perry Edward Smith (speaker)
Related Symbols: Death Row
Page Number: 340
Explanation and Analysis:
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Death Row Symbol Timeline in In Cold Blood

The timeline below shows where the symbol Death Row appears in In Cold Blood. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 4: The Corner
Dreams Failed, Dreams Achieved Theme Icon
Evil Theme Icon
Normal vs. Abnormal Theme Icon
...and Perry are sent back to Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, where they’re put on Death Row . Death Row is housed in a “dark, two-storied building shaped like a coffin.” The... (full context)