Growing up a Sociopath; Born a Psychopath In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a true story of a quadruple homicide in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas that greatly impacted the community in 1959. Capote begins his novel by introducing a prominent, well respected family in the community, the Clutters. The Clutters lived average everyday lives until they were abruptly ended at the mercy of a 12 gauge shotgun. The killers were two men unknown to the Clutters, who had two completely different backgrounds and personalities. By choosing to include details about each of the killers, Capote delineates the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths and suggests that the combination of the two personality disorders creates the environment for horrific
Through similar tactics Capote allows the reader to feel sorry for Dewey, even though he is the man who catches the killing pair. Detective Dewey is first introduced in part two of In Cold Blood, where the readers learn that this would not be an easy case and the Dewey would be the head detective, even though he had personal ties with the Clutter family. The reader would automatically feel sorry for Detective Dewey because he was going to do heavy investigating on a murder of a family he knew and there was very little time to mourn the deaths. Detective Dewey spent countless hours trying to chase down every lead that popped up, taking family time away, which wears on all family members. The reader feels sympathy for Dewey as he loses time with his family around the holiday time because he has become so involved in the case.
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 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.
Normality in Capote’s Text ‘In Cold Blood’ Truman Capote, in his non-fiction journalistic narrative, gives readers the opportunity to reconsider the dichotomy of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’. Capote also suggests true normality differs from society’s concept of normality. The concept of normality is challenged throughout the entirety of ‘In Cold Blood’, first in the Clutter family, then in Dick and Perry and in sexuality throughout the text. The Clutters, a seemingly ‘normal’ family who have obtained a wealthy and successful life, are polite and hardworking, community-driven and respected.
No matter how we try to change our situation or better ourselves in society, variables will obstruct the path we choose. One cannot take control of everything that surrounds us as fate decides what happens to us. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote explains the murder of the Clutter family in the quiet town of Holcomb, Kansas. The murderers, Richard (Dick) Hickock and Perry Smith, try to escape the consequences of their actions, believing that they can get away with what they did. The story tells what the murderers were thinking after and before they committed the crime and their various interactions.
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. What immediately struck me is how Capote uses literary techniques like the simultaneous narration of the lives of the killers and victims, and the fragmented retelling of the story not specifically in the order of events, which makes the story read more like a work of fiction than of pure journalism. As one gets engrossed in the book, it gets easier to forget that the story is based on truth and is not just a fictional story born in Capote’s head. Capote also demonstrates his mastery over the ‘thriller and suspense’ genre, detailing the Clutter family’s everyday lives, emotions and experiences but with progressively higher levels of anticipation as the pages go by, employing versions of the omnipresent phrase, ‘and that was their last’ for dramatic effect.
Throughout In Cold Blood, Truman Capote hints at his own opinion of the death penalty, yet lets the readers decide for themselves what they believe Hickock and Smith's punishment should have been. When the murderers are being hanged, a conversation occurs between a reporter and an investigator about what it might feel like to be hanged: "'They don't feel nothing. Drop, snap, and that's it. They don't feel nothing.' ' Are you sure?
Truman Capote expressed the events that occurred in real life in a haunting and horrifying way illustrating how scary the world really is. The book discusses two people who were both sane but hated the world with such a fiery passion that they murdered the Clutter family for pure joy. They hated the world so much that they wanted everyone else to hate it as well and consequently committed a crime so evil and full of hate. In the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, the author expresses how inhuman some people in the world are and how someone's ego drastically changes the way they view the world.
The Lasting Effects of In Cold Blood Truman Capote’s American novel In Cold Blood is based on the murders of the all- American Clutter family in the remote community of Holcomb, Kansas during the 1960s. With protests about human rights and war circulating America during the 1960s, it is no surprise that the publishing of the book led to a lasting impact on American society. Truman’s book introduced a new writing style for non-fiction stories by capturing the essences of a crime report while making the book read like a novel. Not only did Truman’s book influence the literary community, it is a wakeup call about the fantasy of the “American dream” and importance of the physiology of murderers.
However, the two murderers never took the time to find out more about the Clutter family. Once they realized there was no fortune, Dick did not mind. Dick’s motive for remaining inside the Clutter home was he knew there was a young girl living in the house. His motive was to rape the young girl, Nancy. Nonetheless, the other murderer, Perry Smith, had no motive for killing the Clutter family after realizing there was no fortune.
Truman Capote uses variety of language devices to vividly develop Perry Smith in his novel In Cold Blood. These language devices include, diction, similes and symbolism. Throughout the novel diction is used to develop Perry Smith’s character, and suggest reasons for the murder. When Smith explains what happened that night at the Clutter’s family home, he tells agent Alvin Dewey about his moment with Nancy Clutter.
Facts and Fiction: A Manipulation of Language in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood English is a fascinating and riveting language. Subtle nuances and adjustments can easily change the understanding of a literary work—a technique many authors employ in order to evoke a desired response from their readers. This method is used especially in In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, a literary work which details a true event about the murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small community of Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. Although Capote’s 1966 book was a bestseller nonfiction and had successfully garnered acclaim for its author, there is still a great deal of confusion about the distinction between the factual and fictional aspects in the book.
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
My entire life has changed due to my kindness. Therefore, should I no longer be kind? Why offer my assistance to others if the outcome is penalization? These questions torment my mind; do I acknowledge what's happening around me, or should I just drive by? All I wanted to do was help people, and now, all I do is suffer.