In Cold Blood Rhetorical Analysis

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In the novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, he uses pathos, diction and tone to characterize the killers. He characterizes Dick Hickock as the main character and Perry Smith as a tag-along. Capote mainly shows sympathy towards Perry because of Perry’s messed up past and his mental instability. Capote creates this sympathy through syntax and his elaborate sentence structure with the use of specific punctuation. He also has a very unique writing style with an interesting character development. The author characterizes the two characters by using flashbacks although he sympathize Perry more than Dick, which can be seen through the long descriptions of Perry’s past compared to the few sentences given to Dick’s. There are several areas in the…show more content…
For example, in Perry’s letter, he states, “It could mean a long stretch in prison. Or you might get killed. All for someone you don’t know. YOU BETTER THINK IT OVER!! Seriously! Besides how do I know I can trust you?” (265). Capote uses a variety of techniques to change the style in which he writes. He includes letters from family members or friends to add new perspectives to the story. The syntax present in this part of the letter stands out to the reader for several reasons, which aids in the purpose of showing Perry’s desperation. First, the short sentences illustrate the intensity and rapidity of his thoughts. Secondly, the all capitalized letters comes across as an important statement, one that should be taken seriously. The combination of the larger letters and the italicized words draws the reader’s attention to what is being emphasized in the passage. And finally, the exclamation points (and the use of so many of them) help illustrate to the reader just how determined Perry is in the letter to get his point across. In addition, Capote adds to his style of writing by saying, “During moments of actual violence, they often felt separated or isolated from themselves, as if they were watching someone else…” (300). A few times in the novel, Capote utilize ellipses to end his sentences. Like in the example above, this is a unique form of syntax and style. By concluding a sentence with ellipses that trails off, this allows the reader to come to his or her own conclusions about how the sentence should end. This creates a somewhat mysterious tone at parts of the novel. The purpose of such a technique is to make the novel thought provoking for the reader. Capote's writing styles helps create a unique reading
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