Florence King once said, “People are so busy dreaming the American Dream, fantasizing about what they could be…that they’re all asleep at the switch.” When people are young they often have dreams of becoming a doctor, astronaut, or movie star, but as they grow older they become lazy and are not willing to work for their dream. As time passes by they realize their dream is no longer attainable so they find a dream that is easier to achieve. Florence King saw the world in a realistic light; he noticed that at any age people have dreams but they are too busy fantasizing about them that they fail to make their dream a reality. In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood there are two characters, Dick and Perry, who are golden examples of people who are too busy dreaming that they fail to realize how easy it is to achieve their dream if they just tried.
Dick Hickock had the dream of becoming a family man. Dick’s childhood was a fairly normal one; he was an “outstanding athlete… ...view middle of the document...
Not only has Dick had these two changes to become a wealthy family man, but when Perry and Dick went to Mexico Dick had two other opportunities to become a family man. Dick met an eighteen year old named Inez and he “had promised to marry her. But he had also promised to marry Maria, a woman of fifty, who was the widow of a very prominent Mexican banker” (119). Dick was extremely close to reaching his dream, all he needed to do was find a job and save some money, but he was too busy fantasizing about riches and a happy American family that he didn’t put forth the effort to make his dream a reality.
Unlike Dick, Perry had a rather difficult childhood. This greatly affected Perry’s American Dream; instead of wanting to be a family man, Perry dreamt of gold and buried treasure. When Perry Smith was a child his parents separated and his mom took him and placed him in various orphanages. At one of these orphanages “the Black Widows were always…hitting [him] because of wetting the bed” (132). At a very early age Perry acquired a bad taste regarding families, especially when his mom abandoned him. Eventually he went to live with his dad until they had a fight and his father pointed his shotgun at Perry and said, “Look at me, Perry. I’m the last thing living you’re ever gonna see” (136). These traumatic experiences successfully deterred Perry from sharing Dick’s dream and caused Perry to dream of “prospecting for gold [and] skin-diving for sunken treasure” (99). This dream, however, was a little harder to achieve; it required a boat and the knowledge of how to swim, and Perry had neither for the first part of his life. Even when he went to Mexico and had access to a boat he still didn’t put his dream into action. Perry could have easily learned how to swim with the help of his friends, but instead he decided to fantasize about buried treasure instead of realizing how close he was to accomplishing his dream.
Truman Capote’s book supplied two great examples of what America’s society is starting to become; a land of dreamers. Florence King noticed something that not very many people notice; the American Dream isn’t what it used to be. People are no longer making their dream an action. Both Perry and Dick were within arm’s reach of their American Dream, but both were too busy dreaming instead of pursuing.