Only Perry Smith, who owned neither jacket nor tie, seemed sartorially misplaced. Wearing an open-necked shirt (borrowed from Mr. Meier) and blue jeans rolled up at the cuffs, he looked as lonely and inappropriate as a seagull in a wheat field.

This quote is taken from Part Four: The Corner, as Dick and Perry face their trial. It illustrates how physically out-of-place Perry looks in formal society. Though his fellow defendant and the others in the courtroom all have the knowledge and the means to dress the part, Perry doesn’t. He struggles to perform this role in society, a performance which is essential because it could curry favor in the courtroom. The “wheat field” in Capote’s comparison evokes Herb and the golden fields of the normal world of Holcomb, the world that Perry left covered in blood. The seagull suggests that Perry is a different animal from those in the courtroom entirely, a being who doesn’t even belong in the same ecosystem as the Clutters. This speaks to Perry’s deeper sense of being an outsider, which has plagued Perry much of his life. This loneliness and lack of belonging contribute to his resentment toward the world, which, in turn, have contributed to the crimes he’s on trial for.