An Analysis Of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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A Cold Day in Hell Cuban-American novelist Oscar Hijuelos once stated that “When you write fiction, you can sort of invent more but also pack it with emotions that are very pertinent to you. Whereas with nonfiction, you have to be as factual as possible but also hopefully bring... emotional relevance to the piece” ("Oscar Hijuelos Quote."). Author Truman Capote does exactly this in writing his narrative nonfiction book, titled In Cold Blood, by weaving his attitude towards the subject into what is otherwise the austere story of two killers. In Cold Blood is a non-fiction work through which the author tells the story of two murderers, Richard (Dick) Hickock and Perry Smith, who kill an affluent farmer named Herbert Clutter and his wife and…show more content…
For example, he uses vivid imagery to create a polar distinction between the two killers with the intent of juxtaposing the men to learn their true natures. The language Capote uses also plays an important role in his transmittance of his feelings towards the situation, expressing simultaneous moods of forlornness and understanding. Additionally, Capote cleverly crafts his sentences and phrases in such ways to accurately communicate how he feels about both Perry Smith and the execution of the convicts for their crime, and applies this structuring to the entire work to convey the same feelings. Although he primarily writes the work as non-fiction, Truman Capote embeds his tone of somber compassion towards the events of In Cold Blood through his use of tonal elements. Through his vivid descriptions and figurative language, Capote aims to provide some depth to the personalities of both Dick Hickock and Perry Smith to introduce his mood about the two. In the book, Dick is described as being a controlling, cruel man whose personality serves as the antithesis of Perry 's. This is evident when Capote…show more content…
He turns a trite non-fiction story of robbery gone wrong into a narrative-style exposition by making his attitude towards the subject evident throughout. He does so by using descriptive details, for example, to create images of the depth of the characters in the reader 's mind. Additionally, through his clever use of words, Capote expresses his feelings of sympathy for Perry and his bitter distaste for Perry 's punishment which Dick essentially led him into. Aside from his word use, the way the author structures his sentences to transmit his attitude towards the events of Holcomb, Kansas and the people involved. He then takes this further by applying a specific structure to the whole book, including certain events out of order to support his tone throughout. In essence, Truman Capote set the standard for narrative-nonfiction books by telling what would otherwise have been an ephemeral news story as a gripping adventure that gave both characters and events depth and included a little bit of himself
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