How Women Are Presented in 'in Cold Blood'

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Through Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’ we observe 1950’s America where society was predominantly patriarchal with women expected to fulfil domesticated roles; this entailed staying at home to look after the family and women who did work were expected to do maternal jobs such as nursing and teaching. Capote presents some females as conformists to such a society which is seen through the lives of Nancy and Bonnie; conforming to 1950s America proves to be detrimental to their lives. Nancy Clutter is intellectual and driven yet is shown to be confined by cultural ideals of gender roles at the time. Bonnie Clutter is presented as a fragile, damaged individual who was once happy and prospective. During her domestic role she is deeply depressed; this…show more content…
However she was also seen as an ‘enigma’ by the community due to how highly talented she was. The abstract noun implies just how surprising the community found her abilities given that she was ‘a girl’ of ‘just seventeen’. They attribute this to the fact that shes just like ‘her old man’; the colloquial noun phrase shows how society in 1950s America can only accept the concept of a successful girl by claiming such talent derived from a man. Capote presents Bonnie Clutter as a girl with a sheltered, indulged childhood. The concrete noun ‘adored sister’ shows that she was loved by her family which highlights family importance in Modern America. The dynamic verbs ‘not spoiled but spared’ imply she was sheltered, being protected from the harsh realities of the world. This links to how in the 1950s women were looked and dependent on men due to patriarchy. Bonnie fulfilled her gender role through marriage to Herb Clutter. The dynamic verb ‘he wanted her’ and the adverbial that bonnie was ‘in love’ portray how she acted on emotion and sentiment which were considered female attributes , implying Herb was in control, the dynamic verb ‘wanted’ objectifying her. The domesticated lifestyle proves to be detrimental to Bonnie, leaving her with an ‘inexplicable despondency’. The abstract noun phrase
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