Truman Capote, the author of In Cold Blood, creates sympathy for almost every character the reader comes across. Through the use of manipulating the reader's emotions and connecting them to each character, Capote successfully pulls it off. There are four main groups that Capote chooses to create sympathy for the murder victims, the murderers, the law officials involved, and the ordinary citizens of Holcomb, Kansas. Truman Capote created the most sympathy for two characters, Perry Smith and Detective Dewey.
How crazy would it be to interview criminals who murdered 4 people in cold blood? Well that’s exactly what Truman Capote did in this chilling book. In the novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote used different rhetorical strategies to create sympathy and influence the idea that there are always two sides to every story. Some of the mainly used rhetorical strategies throughout the novel were imagery, diction, tone, and pathos. Furthermore, Capote also illustrated sympathetical emotion towards both types of characters, the protagonists and antagonists. Additionally, Capote expressed the idea of there being two sides to every story for both the protagonist and antagonist. By doing so, he used a unique writing style to help develop the story. In Cold
The novel, In Cold Blood, is an anomaly in the literary paradigm. The author, Truman Capote, designed his novel in a way that made it unique when compared to others. His fundamental purpose was to present the problem of American violence and the fragility of the American Dream and how it can be so easily shattered. In order to portray his purpose, he used many rhetorical devices including syntax, diction, tone, ethos, logos and pathos. These devices allowed Capote’s novel to be different from the spectrum of other non-fiction novels and to support his purpose.
Typically upon hearing about a murder, especially a brutal and unwarranted one, we find ourselves feeling a great sense of disgust for the murderer or murderers who committed these crimes; however, in Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood, the lives and experiences of the murderers, particularly Perry Smith, are displayed in a way the makes you feel pity for him as well as the victims. When comparing Capote’s Novel to a typical news article on a similar topic it is easy to see the that Capote's style varies from typical journalism. An article written by Frances Robles and Nikita Stewart titled “Dylan Roof’s Past Reveals Trouble at Home and School,” discusses the childhood and background of Dylann Roof, a twenty-one
The Chicago World Fair stirred many emotions in this great time of industrialization, but not only was Chicago shining in the spotlight from the fair, it was also promoting something much more sinister, this dark enclosing spotlight shined directly on H.H Holmes. Burnham the leader of the World Fair and H. H Holmes the notorious serial killer, are the two main characters in this novel that Erik Larson uses the balance between light and dark between these two’s personalities. In the novel The Devil in the White City Erik Larson uses Imagery, paradox, and alliteration to show the balance between the light and dark in the ever growing city of Chicago.
Everybody has desires that constantly weigh over their heads, pushing them to be diligent in all their endeavors, but what would you do if you knew that one day you would no longer have the opportunity to fulfill these desires? Everybody lives their lives so focused on the end goal that they are oblivious to the world around them, and the sad part is that in some cases the end goal is unattainable or never reached because the person dies. In In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes symbolism and descriptive diction to tell his readers Perry’s wants and wishes. Throughout this subchapter the reader is able to learn more about how Perry feels in the moments after the Clutter family murder. The reader learns that Perry wishes he was loved by others
It all started on the night of November 14, 1959, when two young men came to Holcomb, Kansas. They first came to rob the Clutters, but when finding there was not ten thousand dollars in the house like they were told, they thoughtlessly killed all four of them, for only forty bucks and a little radio. The men were finally caught, but forced to stand on trial with people who already want the two men dead, which puts the town in favor of capital punishment, before the trial had even started. The two young men, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, were sentenced to the death penalty. The book In Cold Blood, I believe, is for the capital punishment. There were two men who were brutally honest, one saying, “ I believe in capital punishment, it’s like the bible says- and eye for an eye. And even so were two pairs short.” The other man was asked if he was for or against the capital punishment, he response was, “ Ordinarily i’m against it, but in this case no.”
Truman Capote’s novel, In Cold Blood epitomizes the shifting sentiments related to the murder of the Clutter family which range from terror, to sorrow, to pride, and all mixed emotions in between. Yet through Capote’s particular descriptions about each character, the connection between their feelings and their actions become further clarified. In effect, the readers experience feelings of sympathy for the victims, their friends and family, the investigators, and even the brutal murders of the innocent family. In order to craft this association, Capote employs a pathos appeal to amplify the audience’s ability to sympathize with each and every character. He succeeds in creating these complex personalities that many can relate to by using a myriad of tones to illustrate every aspect of those engaged, such as their childhood, their family, or their emotions. For instance, Bobby Rupp, Nancy’s boyfriend and Perry Smith, one of the slayers, represent two individuals who readers commiserate with due to their distinctive characterization.
The non-fiction novel ‘In Cold Blood’ interestingly begins as a fiction novel would-with the author setting up the scene of the gruesome quadruple murder about to take place, unbeknownst to the victims. Capote describes the isolated flatlands of rural Kansas, and introduces the victims and their killers as if they were the main characters of a fictional murder mystery.
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood challenges the conventional boundaries of the true crime genre and plumbs the psychological and emotional depths of the Clutter family murders. Capote’s masterpiece incorporates diction to create a sympathetic tone and juxtapose the brutality of the murders in which he foreshadows.
Herbert Clutter: the character Capote describes as the epitome of the American Dream. At age forty-eight, Mr. Clutter was prosperous, morally inclined, religious, with four successful children, and a twenty five year marriage to his sweetheart. He was one of the most-well known and respected individuals in Holcomb as a result of a hard work, but even then, he hadn’t achieved perfection, rather, he lived behind the mask of the town’s perception. To them, Mr. Clutter achieved the idyllic lifestyle of the American Dream; he had the land, the wealth, the status, but his wife, Bonnie Clutter, suffered from
In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, there is no hero. The protagonist is not a hero, nor the law enforcement. Heroism becomes irrelevant when searching for justice following a tragedy such as the one seen on November 15th, 1959 in Holcomb, Kansas. Complexity, next to justice, is primary to put into account during the aftershocks . Perry Smith is the protagonist in the novel, not only due to author’s bias but also due to his sheer dynamic, a man disconnected from word to action. The author portrays Perry Smith as the protagonist of the novel stress that there is no defined line of good and bad, rather a percentage in what is heard versus what is acted upon.
Murder can be defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another”. How then, are others able to make us sympathize with not only murderers, but people who have committed horrendous crimes? For example, the media is constantly attempting to humanize rapists and even terrorists with phrases like “lone wolf” or “alienated and adrift.” Such phrases make some of us want to pity the criminal. This can be seen when we compare Perry Smith and Dick Hickock from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Capote portrays only one of these two seemingly distinct characters (Perry) in a way that the reader feels the need to relate to and even sympathize with him. One can be taken aback by such an attachment to a murderer. This is not surprising as the author uses his compassionate diction to manipulate the reader’s emotions with a use of pathos, the appeal to emotions. At one point Capote goes as far as to write that “Smith’s life had been no bed of roses,” (Capote 245) attempting to have the readers relate to Perry. On the other hand, Capote has Dick say this about himself: “Deal me out, baby, I’m a normal” (Capote 116). By using phrases such as these, Capote creates an unfavorable impression of Dick and and a biased tone. The same cannot be said for Perry as Capote produces an almost benevolent tone toward him with the help of pathos, “the most powerful appeal” (Noel, 2011).
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, is a non-fiction true crime. In Cold Blood is about two murderers, Dick and Perry, who heard a rumor about a household possessing $5,000 and they wanted the money. Little did they know there was not any money and they got caught for murder to get nothing in the end. They ended up serving jail time and sentenced to hang till death.