Covered with Dust: Truman Capote Essay

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In an excerpt from “In Cold Blood”, Truman Capote writes as an outside male voice irrelevant to the story, but has either visited or lived in the town of Holcomb. In this excerpt Capote utilized rhetoric to no only describe the town but also to characterize it in order to set a complete scene for the rest of the novel. Capote does this by adapting and forming diction, imagery, personification, similes, anaphora, metaphors, asyndeton, and alliteration to fully develop Holcomb not only as a town, but as a town that enjoys its isolation. Capote begins the novel with a complete description of not only the town as a whole, but also the people and landmark buildings, which allows Capote to characterize the town completely. In the first line of…show more content…
Constituting the idea of isolation and enjoyment of being “out there”, Capote writes, “The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness”. He uses diction to create a hostile country tone to the speech and dialect of the people. The word “barbed” can be reckoned to show and simulate the want of people staying out, like when barbed wire is hung on fences of secure buildings, or the want to keep people in, like in jails. The term “twang” is used to construct the image of country folk, with farms and all knowing one another’s names. Capote uses diction in an odd way in the seventh line of the excerpt, “the land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive”. The use of the word “awesomely” contradicts the tone of a country, calm, unobtrusive environment. In the last line of the first paragraph, Capote uses diction and a simile to show not only the setting, but the disconnect of Holcomb to the outside world. “Horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples”, the discussion of the plethora of animals in the area just provides more concrete evidence that the village can be considered a farm/ rural area. When Capote compares the “white cluster of grain elevators rising” to Greek temples, its to improve the audiences understanding of how the simplest structures, are “holy” and marvelous to them. It shows their lack of worldly experience and knowledge. Continuing on to the next paragraph

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