In Cold Blood

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Perry vs. Chigurh

Perry: detailed look at childhood, abusive relationship with parents, domestic violence, lack of education, alcoholic mother, her death, orphanage, nuns – sexual abuse, homosexual

Appearance: victim, deformed physique, stunted life, needy, childhood

Victim of American Dream and victim of American justice system

Failed business with his father

Chigurh – little insight into background, no nationality, no family background – although Vietnam mentioned (military efficiency – US special forces)

Appearance: invulnerable and unstoppable

Justice System

Perry: victim of criminal justice system – in his defense; lawyers; jury – miscarriage of justice because of his mental state

Chigurh: beyond criminal justice, can’t be pinned down, Bell avoids him, law not even on his radar, Bell and law several steps behind, Chigurh a new threat

In contrast:

Dewey supports death penalty, but feels sympathy for Perry
Bell – Chigurh bypasses death penalty altogether


* Both murderers
* Both intrude onto private property
* Perry – one and only murder (childhood act)
* Chigurh – norm: takes possession of all property
* Weaponry – ICB not specified really or focus of investigation BUT in NCFOM Chigurh becomes associated with weapons as a symbol for masculinity

Encounter with victim:

Perry: disassociation, psychiatrist – killed part rage for childhood, ‘someone had to pay’ (abuse of past)

Chigurh: detatched Wells (running away from C and he is killed), Mexican (killed), Eagle Pass Shootout, Carla Jean (Wells’ wife), and encounter at gas station, unnamed man 17th floor. Fatalistic angle of death – makes people aware of their lives and measures them. Efficient killings, no witnesses – ruthless, violent – contemporary drug culture (Mexican drug cartel)


1. Emotional background
2. Gothic representations (P physical appearance vs. Chigurh superhuman) 3. Criminal Justice...