As Truman Capote guides his readers through the thrilling story of the homicide of the Clutters family in his nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood, he gives the them a clear conception of the characters in his story. The characterization of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, the two vicious killers, enhances the richness of the story by adding depth to the characters. Capote manipulates ethos and visual imagery to illustrate Dick’s corrupt nature, while he skillfully exploits assumption and pathos to characterize Perry as a sympathetic character.
Capote purposefully detaches himself from this section of the story, allowing the only sense of sympathy come from those who personally knew the Clutters. Because Capote is not able to form a personal relationship with any members of the Clutter family, he simply chooses to briefly explain the family’s murder and shift his attention to the murderers instead. The Clutters all-American image could not rescue them from tragedy and instead of portraying the family as victims, Capote focuses on attempting to encourage the audience to remain optimistic on their views regarding the family’s murderers.
The true account of a premeditated murder of four, Clutter family members unfolds throughout Truman Capote’s novel, In Cold Blood. Truman Capote depicts a fact based story in his book, In Cold Blood; although non-fiction, the book can be categorized as biased towards various aspects and characters in the novel. Truman Capote strives to write In Cold Blood without recognition of preferential treatment towards certain characters, but fails as his tone and imagery supports the defense of the antagonist. The several sections of evidence that indicate prejudice towards the murderers include Capotes tone and empathy throughout the resolution of the story, his structure and comparisons in telling the story , and his detailed imagery describing the
In Truman Capote’s captivating nonfiction, In Cold Blood, Capote ventures through the journey and lives of both the killed and the killers all while analyzing the point in which they crossed paths. From the days before the four Clutters were murdered to the last moments of the two killers’ lives, Capote takes into account each and every aspect that creates the ‘famous’ Clutter Case with an in depth look of just how and why these strange and unforeseeable events occurred. What was originally supposed to only be an article in a newspaper turned into an entire book with Capote analyzing both how and why a murder comes to be through the use of pathos, juxtaposition, and foreshadowing.
Capote's structure in In Cold Blood is a subject that deserves discussion. The book is told from two alternating perspectives, that of the Clutter family who are the victims, and that of the two murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. The different perspectives allow the reader to relive both sides of the story; Capote presents them without bias. Capote masterfully utilizes the third person omniscient point of view to express the two perspectives. The non-chronological sequencing of some events emphasizes key scenes.
The book In Cold Blood is a nonfiction book about the murder of the Clutter family. Taking place back in the 1959s, Truman Capote writes about the events leading up to the murders, when the murders took place, and the aftermath. He tells the story in such a descriptive manner, that it feels like we were there when it happened. The purpose of writing like that is so we can know everyone’s side of the story, even people you wouldn’t ordinarily think of. He helps us feel like we were there when it happened by effectively and efficiently using the rhetorical strategies. The rhetorical strategies I feel were most important to the story were pathos, logos, and the tone. The way Capote uses these rhetorical strategies and literary devices is
Conflict, in the beginning of the book Capote starts sympathizing with the Clutter’s family last day alive. Capote used a strong sentence to give us a point of where we are in the book. In the book it says, “Then, touching the brim of his cap, he headed for home and the day’s work, unaware that it would be his last.”(15) He tells us who the family was murdered. In the beginning of the book it is easy to confuse that Mr. Clutter was the murderer. Then, In Cold Blood the author, Capote, uses many foreshadowing in his book. One in specific is a extremely strong foreshadowing. In the text, “Four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives.”(5) American Novelist, Capote, exploits foreshadowing in his book. He takes
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood tells readers about the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, the lives of the perpetrators, and how it affected everyone in the town. By narrating throughout the book, foreshadowing and including imagery, Capote allows his audience to see every aspect of the Clutter family murder case.
In Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel In Cold Blood, the Clutter family’s murderers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, are exposed like never before. The novel allows the reader to experience an intimate understanding of the murderer’s pasts, thoughts, and feelings. It goes into great detail of Smith and Hickock’s pasts which helps to explain the path of life they were walking leading up to the murder’s, as well as the thought’s that were running through their minds after the killings.
We see two heartless, cold blooded killers that slain the innocent family of the Clutters with the intent to leave no witnesses and to rob them of their hard earned money but Capote deceives the reader's emotions throughout the entirety of the book to humanize straight killers and make them likable. We often see a murderer as a psychopath without any emotion but it is hard to label Smith and Hickock one because Capote brings the reader into their lives in a way that we would feel sorry and have pity for them. Capote makes the reader relate to Smith and Hickock by describing their families and showing insight into the killers’ dreams and aspirations so we could perceive them as people and forget that they ended the future of the Clutters. Perry was a lonely child growing up and had a drunkard mother that forced him into foster care where he was abused and bullied
Many people say the documentation of the murder of the Clutter family is Truman Capote’s best work. It started out as an article for The New Yorker, and evolved into the non-fiction novel; the first of its kind. Capote traveled to Kansas with friend Harper Lee to research the killings. In the course of six years bringing this narrative together, Capote began taking drugs and drinking heavily due to the dark nature of the book. Truman Capote tells the true story of a family murdered in In Cold Blood, through character analysis and symbolism to prove nature is a stronger force than nature in shaping a person’s character.
Aren’t we all a bit crazy at times? In Truman Capote’s rhetorical masterpiece, In Cold Blood, is about a murder that actually occurred in a small town in Kansas. Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, also known as Dick and Perry, are the criminal minds behind the murder. Capote’s work is regarded to as a masterpiece because he uses many rhetorical devices to convey his message. He uses rhetorical devices such as diction, imagery and pathos. Capote’s purpose for writing the book is to show the insights of what goes on in these two’s criminal minds and to humanize Perry.
Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood with the intention of creating a new non-fiction genre, a creative spin on a newspaper article with the author, and his opinions and judgments completely absent from the text, leaving only the truth for the reader to interpret. The pages of In Cold Blood are filled with facts and first-hand accounts of the events surrounding the brutal murder of a wealthy unsuspecting family in Holcomb, Kansas. Author Truman Capote interviewed countless individuals to get an accurate depiction of every one affected by and every side of the murder. Although he declares himself an unbiased and opinion-free author, based on the extensive descriptions of one of the murderers, Perry Smith, there is much debate about this
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).
Through his numerous short stories, fiction novels, and even nonfiction novels, Truman Capote has notably been considered one of America’s most prominent literary writers of the twentieth century. The numerous conflicts in which Capote dealt with in the earlier parts of his life led him to procure solace in writing (McMillan). Emerging as a prolific author who was commonly known for his excellent usage of prose, Capote came to publish the notorious nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood, in 1966. During Capote’s era, Southern Gothicism, a literary genre associated with dark and grotesque themes, increasingly prevailed (Bjerre). Capote’s novel became an atypical work in the genre, though, as he transformed a work of literary nonfiction into what seemed as though a “factional” piece-- a true novel in which incorporated fictional elements of Southern Gothicism (“Slouching Toward Popularity). Within the novel, Capote intricately details the Clutter family murder executed by Richard Hickock and Perry Smith. By doing so, he was able to successfully incorporate elements of Southern gothicism within the novel. Through the analysis of the damaged characters within the novel, the criminality involved in the Clutter murder, and the violence of the murder itself, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood not only fit the Southern Gothic genre, but ultimately came to revolutionize the nonfiction novel, thus proving its deserved standing in the literary canon.