In Cold Blood Rhetorical Analysis

411 Words2 Pages

Truman Capote published the “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood in order to challenge the formal definition of a nonfiction book while bringing national recognition to the tragedy of the Clutter family. Throughout pages 69-70, Capote intertwines the writing styles of both journalistic and novelistic approaches in order to create a grim tone, which then establishes the unnerving atmosphere of the community following the discovery of the Clutter family murder.
The passage opens with Capote describing how the devastating news was informed throughout the community along with the average recipient’s reaction. Capote begins with a novelist voice, and uses patterns of strong diction in order to begin building the tone. By using “announced,” “distributed,” and “publicized” he was able to emphasize the importance of this event throughout the town, and even farther than Holcomb (69). However, after explaining how widespread the news traveled, Capote then sews in an example quote from a local radio station that was broadcasting about the Clutter family. Utilizing the radio’s quote of “A tragedy, unbelievable and shocking beyond words…” begins to form the new atmosphere of Holcomb (69). By then incorporating a form of …show more content…

While explaining the reactions of the town when hearing about the Clutter incident, Capote describes the average listener's reaction as having “amazement, shading into dismay; a shallow horror sensation that cold springs of personal fear swiftly deepened” (70). Choosing to use the words dismay, horror, and fear sets up the tone of the passage as being grim and menacing. He then switches back to the journalistic approach and uses the a quote from the paranoia of a local cafe owner. Mrs. Hartman says, “‘ If something like this could happen to them, then who’s safe, I ask you?’” (70). Employing the use of this quote allowed Capote to develop the unsettling feeling that many people were feeling throughout the

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