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Gender Roles In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Every once in awhile, shows such as Leave It to Beaver or Father Knows Best come up while surfing the tv guide. While these are two examples of remarkably popular television shows of the mid 1900’s, they also portray the gender normalities of the time period. Gender roles were simply and precisely defined. Men went to work and made the money, while the women stayed home to take care of the house and kids. However, as humanity enters the sixteenth year of the twenty first century, this precision begins to blur. Gender roles have come a long way in the past century. That being said, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, is almost like a time capsule, immersing the reader into the gender norms of the 1950s. Capote portrays these norms prominently throughout In Cold Blood, specifically in the second vignette.

Gender norms of the mid 1900’s are spotted almost immediately in the second vignette. Capote describes the detectives that were assigned to the Clutter’s abhorrent case. “...he’d been accompanied by… Dr. J. E. Dale, a veterinarian: Carl Myers, a dairy owner; and Everett Ogburn, a businessman” (77). Every single detective appointed was male. According to Public Broadcasting Service, stay-at-home moms were advertised by the media ("People & Events: Mrs. America: Women's Roles in the
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Capote casually incorporates this into his novel, In Cold Blood. The reader experiences a wide range of the gender norms of the 1950’s including everything between the lack of women in the workforce to how these norms affected family matters. Gender roles have come a long way, and thanks to Capote, anyone who reads In Cold Blood will be able to identify this rapid change. Although the book was written as an embellished nonfiction novel, the consistent portrayal of gender norms throughout the second vignette immerses the reader into the traditional values of Holcomb, Kansas in the
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