Mix of Journalism and Fiction in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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John Hollowell's, critical analysis of Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood focuses on the way Capote used journalism and fiction to try and create a new form of writing (82-84).

First, Capote involves his reader. "This immediacy, this spellbinding 'you-are-there' effect, comes less from the sensational facts (which are underplayed) than from the 'fictive' techniques Capote employs" (Hollowell 82). Capote takes historical facts and brings in scenes, dialogue, and point of view to help draw the reader in (Hollowell 82).

Capote also took into consideration which parts of information to use by how dramatic of an appeal they had (Hollowell 82). His talent led him to figure out what would have the most significance and impact to make the
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Smith's portrayal if analyzed in detail will encompass all of the aspects that Capote uses to create literature rather than journalism. Smith's dialogue and scenes are the major ways Capote meshes a real person into literature (Hollowell 83).

Capote creates sympathy for Smith in the reader by comparing him to a wounded animal, a creature who is not able to be responsible for his actions, an outcast from society, and a "psychic cripple" (Hollowell 83). These character traits are added to the book to advance the dramatic heightening. Both killers are given sympathy and are treated as individuals by Capote to bring it beyond the average thriller novel (Hollowell 83).

Next, Capote puts the fiction tool of symbols to use. Overall, the way he webs together the facts creates a pattern of violence that is part of American life (Hollowell 83). He also has "selective repetition of certain images, landscapes, and atmospheric details [to] create a cumulative impact" (Hollowell 83). Through these symbols he provokes the reader to come to one's own decision on moral interpretations and meanings of events.

The Clutter family is written in a fashion to show they were the normal American family and by fate were entangled with killers (Hollowell 83). Hollowell states, Capote creates a "mythic dimension" through this portrayal (83). The dimension shows the reader how this crime completely disturbs the community of Holcomb and an