Narrative Methods In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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In the final months of 1959, the Clutter family was brutally murdered in their Holcomb, Kansas, home. Reports of their murders made national news. One of these headlines captured the attention of Truman Capote who chose to pursue the story further; eventually, after years of research and thousands of pages of notes, he penned In Cold Blood. It was first published in 1966, and it found immediate success. Capote’s original storytelling methods combined with the sensationalism of the crime was instrumental in creating, at the very least, popularizing a new genre: creative nonfiction. Utilizing unique narrative structure and author-tainted character development, Capote weaves a tale that questions the authenticity, the intent, and the meaning of justice. Capote begins his novel with a conventional narrative structure choice: describing the setting. He spends several pages familiarizing the reader with the town of Holcomb, Kansas. This move is crucial, especially when contrasted with his unconventional choices for the traditional narrative timeline as the book progresses. As Capote introduces the reader to the Clutter family, with a particular focus on Herb, he sets the groundwork for the conflict. With necessary background information in mind, the reader first confronts the conflict with the words, “...he headed for home and the day’s work, unaware that it would be his last” (13). It is this moment, that the reader experiences the first sense of satisfaction. This is the

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