Although Capote conveys the Clutters as a simple mid western family, his primary purpose was to display how pivotal the Clutters were to the flow and function of Holcomb’s community, therefore; Capote asserts that everything in life is a chain reaction, nothing just affects one individual.
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 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. All throughout the book, Capote illustrated sympathetical emotion towards both types of characters, the protagonists and antagonists; Whereas in this case, Capote expressed the sides of the protagonist and antagonist.
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.
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
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.
Although the author set himself the task of using the natural materials of this case to write a nonfiction novel, it is clear that the audience is given information about the murders, and murderers however, the author’s emotions are also present. Capote's tone in the novel strives to be objective, but he cannot help but let his compassion towards the criminals and the Clutter family emerge. His compassion shifts the novel in a way to pull on the heartstrings of the audience and to allow for a deeper understanding of his purpose. Many of the tones included in the book brings out the importance of the American Dream and life being a gift. The quote, “Then, touching the brim of his cap, he headed for home and the day’s work, unaware that it would be his last,” is an example of the author’s serious tone to support his purpose of how the gift of life can be taken so unexpectedly. (Capote 13) The reader receives insight of Dick’s life plans with the following quote, “After he graduated from high school—June, 1949—he wanted to go on to college. Study to be an engineer. But we couldn't do it. Never had any money ( Capote 166). This quote illustrates that Dick, being raised in a well environment, also had some faults. He could not achieve his American Dream due to lack of money that his family did not
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. Much
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
In his book, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote utilizes several rhetorical devices and strategies in pages 246-248 in order to establish a theme for the fourth section of the book, The Corner, and in order to properly end the third section, The Answer. Capote uses metaphor, diction, and tone shift in order to provide a comparison for Dick and Perry, to most effectively transition into the last section of the book, and to establish a grim and dismal mood.
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.
In the novel, In Cold Blood, Truman Capote chose his words in a subjective manner. Capote inaccurately described many characters in his novel. He based his writing on his feelings and emotions rather than facts and evidence. Capote characterized Richard Hickock, Perry Smith, and Bonnie Clutter falsely.
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.
He told it, in such a way that it makes the readers feel that Dick and Perry, are deserving of their execution. The crime and other crimes that they commit, truly show that this people are not the best criminals, and really do not feel all that bad for their crimes. Perry seems to think about the killings, but he, along with Dick, never truly apologized until he was faced with death. “The graves of the Clutter Family, four graves gathered under a single gray stone, lie in a far corner of the cemetery…” One can assume that Capote reminds reader, that the Clutters are dead, and there is nothing that will change that. Capote could be trying to show readers that killing the two guilty of the crime does not solve
These interviews revealed a new side to the story that focuses more on the victims of the murder and the impact on the people living in Holcomb who are still affected by the publicity of “In Cold Blood”. These stories shed light not only on the way that Capote perceived them but also on the way that others not mentioned in the novel viewed the Clutters. Interviews such as these ones illuminate the victims and broaden the scope of understanding of the Clutters. They also demonstrate that Capote’s novel was only one version of the events, but many other accountings exist, constituting “In Cold Blood” as a subjective analysis rather than the objective