Fiction And Fiction In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is a retelling of the true account of two men slaughtering four members of a prosperous Kansas family on the night of November 15th, 1959. Capote’s factual story of the murders of the Clutter family, the arrest of two convicts, the trial and the convictions garnered widespread media attention and fame for Capote. However, In Cold Blood has been critically analyzed by both worlds of fiction writers as well as journalists on claims that the book is “immaculately factual” (Plimpton). In In Cold Blood, Truman Capote delivers a single cohesive narrative of a true account which is worthy of being considered an influential work in a new literary genre: “The Non-Fiction Novel” (Plimpton). Capote’s style creates a detached…show more content…
However, by bringing the technique of fiction to journalism, Capote’s In Cold Blood became an instant success and a long lasting bestseller (Wainwright 2). The story of the “motiveless murders” follows a single cohesive narrative while suppressing the contradictory details that usually arise out of true events (Wainwright 2). Capote’s deft use of different points-of-view while incorporating extensive dialog draws the reader in and creates a high level suspense for the reader. In the beginning, the reader is introduced to the Clutter family, but soon after in the next scene, Capote switches the point of view to that of the murderers detailing their actions at the same moment (Capote 40). He then molds the two storylines to create a comprehensive truth. The excitement of the reader is aroused with the idea that the killers are on their way. The first chapter is titled “The Last to See them Alive” which is foreshadowing of the murders that are to take place. In addition, while introducing Mrs. Clutter, Capote writes, “Now, on this final day of her life …” (Capote 28) creating an unpleasant feeling in the reader’s minds. Furthermore, Capote retold the murders from two different perspectives, one of the victims and the other of the murderers, which allows the readers to relive the lives of the victims as well as the…show more content…
Therefore, the use of In Cold Blood in a classroom gives teachers an excellent choice to teach rhetorical analysis to students. The book introduces death penalty, American judicial system as well as the subject of criminal investigation. It allows the student to form their own opinions, develop introspection and analyze the power of juxtaposition in rhetorical analysis. Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood still holds interest and popularity fifty years after the release making it an ideal book to include in classroom

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