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
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.
Imagery is prevalent throughout In Cold Blood, a novel written by Truman Capote about a rather wealthy family, The Clutters, that were suddenly murdered in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Capote used imagery in In Cold Blood to describe the surroundings that every scene is taking place in and how people can be shaped by them. In the beginning of the novel, Capote uses imagery to describe the Kansas town of Holcomb and uses that description to contrast with the brutal murders of the Clutter family. He says that “the land is flat” and that Holcomb is a “lonesome area” to emphasize the isolation and relative quietness of Holcomb.
The bias and bigotry alive in two communities propelled forward the conviction of two guilt free individuals. There was never any significant correlation between Tom Robinson and Steven Avery, that is until Steven Avery was accused and sentenced for a crime he did not commit; much like the famous character Tom Robinson from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The foundation of such trials, despite baring significant faults, proved strong enough to condemn. Although the Tom Robinson case and the Steven Avery case possess striking differences their resemblances are exceedingly pronounced.
In the novel, In Cold Blood author Truman Capote utilizes dark imagery and depressing diction to set the novel’s tone. Capote shows the reader a desolate town with scarce residents. Holcomb, Kansas features flat land, cattle, and grain, making a feeling of barren emptiness. Capote’s choice of words and descriptions loom over the main characters and create an uneasiness for the reader. Capote describes Holcomb as, “A lonesome area the other Kansans call ‘out there.’”
In Cold Blood Rhetorical Analysis 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
Located in a “lonesome area,” the town did not have much to see. All of the local buildings were falling apart; with their chipping paint and “dirty windows” and “irrelevant signs.” The citizens of the dreary town were nice people, everyone knew everyone, and they spoke to each other in an accent "barbed with prairie twang.” The description of this town makes it sound very dull and boring, doesn’t it? Yes.
Helen Garson, while reflecting deep understanding of plot points consecutively, induces her beliefs on what Truman Capote intended when writing In Cold Blood. She reveals both flaws and hidden gems that may have not been noticed easily by the reader. With this criticism being made in 1980, after the first publication of In Cold Blood in 1965, Garson acknowledges accounts when Capote’s nonfiction novel ignited controversy due to the fact that he merely took notes after his encounters with the criminals based on memory. In addition, including Capote’s emotions while writing each part of the book.
The aspects that create a personality are built up upon two main guidances: family influence at a young age and inner conflicts. Balancing on a thin thread of neuro-normality and insanity, a personality is subjected to treatment that affects the individual’s view of life and the people around them. In the case of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, there were two main characters that displayed these aspects with much adversity: Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Both beginning from contrasting backgrounds and family homes, they miraculously ended up in equal situations: being caught committing a heinous murder that has been declared as one of the worst serial killings in Kansas history during the early 1960s. Therefore, Perry and Dick’s similar situations must be due to their innate psychological
Imagine being a new family in the town of Holcomb, a quaint, remote town located about 450 miles west of Kansas. What would be the first things in which you notice about the community? Would it be the lack of paved roads? The fact that the majority of the buildings here are dilapidated and vacant? Or perhaps you realize that the town doesn't even have a working telephone line?
I was pleased with how Capote wrapped up the end of the documentary. I have already taken civics, and although it was not my favorite class, I found the trial and court process in this book very interesting. I feel like I learned more about criminal trials and processing in this documentary than I did in civics class, perhaps because it was easier to understand a real-world example. Capote wrote in a style that made it easy for readers to understand what was happening in the case and why. I like how Capote used this documentary to inform people of some of the flaws in the court process, as well as the broken government system in general.
Passage 2: Page 28-30 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. The included descriptions of Bonnie Clutter evokes sadness or pity from the reader.
In the fourth section of In Cold Blood, Capote argues that Perry is a cold blooded killer and Dick is just as guilty. Capote describes Perry as “very high” on the night of the murder. By the time he was in jail, Capote referred to him as “unusually troubled” and “lost”. When Perry admitted to the murder of the four Clutter’s, his reasoning was to spare Mrs. Hickock’s feelings, not to tell the truth. Perry’s background makes him seem damaged and “changed”, as he experienced various problems in adolescence; his “psychotic” ways are even thought to be true by a psychiatrist in court.
The opening of In Cold Blood written by Truman Capote, describes a small, quaint town called Holcomb, Kansas that appears forgotten. Capote states that there is “not much to see” in Holcomb, and that it very dull and boring. He believes that Holcomb is dull and bland; nothing that makes it out of the ordinary. Throughout the opening, Capote utilizes many different stylistic elements to describe Holcomb, some of which are diction and imagery. These elements are key to the opening; they provoke the reader to read more and make the novel more interesting.