Examples Of The American Dream In Cold Blood

753 Words4 Pages
How the American Dream Doesn’t Exist Regardless of the person, everyone has an idea of what the “American Dream” is. Whether it be success, or something more, the connotations held with that phrase almost always symbolize an ideal, a goal. Truman Capote contrasts this idea in his novel In Cold Blood by detailing the lives of those who were involved in the Clutter murders in Holcomb, Kansas. Capote utilizes his novel to illustrate to [specific readers] that the idealistic American Dream varies from individual to individual, yet it is one of the most elusive goals of all.
A typical run of the mill rural family. What could go wrong with their ideal American Dream? The Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas lived a quiet and serene life. Passing their days on their family owned farm, the Clutters had almost achieved their American Dream of self-sufficiency and security; the only thing preventing that goal
…show more content…
However, once they had been brutally murdered, their dream slipped through their cold, dead fingers. Capote used the Clutter family as his first example of the fleeting American Dream because they illustrated that even the picture perfect family couldn’t have their fleeting version of the American Dream. Specifically detailing their lives prior to the murders, Capote manipulates the his language to portray a specific image: “respected,” “cherished by churchgoers,” but overall, “average” (Capote 6, 35, 36). Through the use of his precise diction and the anecdotes leading up to their untimely deaths, Capote elucidates the reality that the American Dream is elusive to practically all, even those who lead seemingly perfect and average lives. Capote also utilizes the story of Bonnie Clutter to illustrate how the American Dream is different for all, but hardly attainable. In utilizing the anecdote of her life, Bonnie was described to be “the only daughter,” and
Get Access