Manipulation Of Language In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Facts and Fiction: A Manipulation of Language in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood 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…show more content…
He is portrayed as a mastermind in the cold-blooded killing of the Clutters family, a man with little respect for the lives of others, which can be seen through Dick’s expression before the murder of the Clutters when he converses Perry, “We’re gonna go in there and splatter those walls with hair” (Capote 234). This sudden tone shift enables Capote to depict Dick as a cruel and immoral character. Dick’s lack of empathy and concern for other people beside himself allow him to commit crimes without remorse, which is in contrast to Perry’s moral contemplation after each bad actions they committed. Moreover, Dick is represented as the true criminal with evident motives in murdering the Clutters, while Perry is seen as a vulnerable victim who depends on Dick for validation and acceptance, something in which Dick happily provides in order to manipulate Perry, as Capote writes, “Dick became convinced that Perry was that rarity, ‘a natural born killer,’—absolutely sane but conscienceless, and capable of dealing with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows. It was Dick's theory that such a gift could, under his supervision, be profitably exploited” (Capote 205). While Dick’s attempt to profit from Perry originates from a lie that Perry creates in order to gain Dick’s respect, the language that Capote uses to illustrate Dick’s exploitation does not leave room for excuses or sympathy. The tone indicates Dick has malicious intention in befriending Perry, which gives the readers a cynical impression of him. Furthermore, Dick is seen to be disregarding of the gravity of his crimes, especially as he replies to Perry’s comment, “I think there must be something wrong with us" (Capote 114) to commit the murder like they did, in which Dick replies, “Deal me out, baby, I'm a normal,” and continues to entertain the thought, “But Perry—there
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