Fatalism In In Cold Blood By Truman Capote

702 Words 3 Pages
The novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote details the investigation of the seemingly motiveless murders of a small farming town family, the Clutters. In the book, the tone of the writing creates a feeling of emotionless fatalism, emphasizing overall the unfairness of life, as can be seen throughout the novel, especially after the murder of the Clutter family. A fatalistic tone is expressed mainly in the dialogue of the murderous characters Dick and Perry. The unfairness of life is shown through the conflicting suffering of the Clutter family and the suffering in the lives Dick and Perry. It is expressed throughout the narrative, mainly during the middle and later parts of the book, that characters are powerless to do anything other than live …show more content…
Following the idea of predestination is the idea that, “once a thing is set to happen, all you can do is hope it won’t. Or will – depending. As long as you life, there’s always something waiting, and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do (92)?” This section from the text truly conveys fatalism though the ideas of predestination, that everything that will happen has been predetermined, and lack of optimism based on past sufferings. Adding to the overall bleak tone of the text is the question, “How was it possible that such effort, such plain virtue, could overnight be reduced to this – smoke, thinning as it rose and was received by the big, annihilating sky (79)?” This evidence shows the other end of fatalism, when after the happening of any event, life returns to normal as if nothing truly affects the predestined path of the world. Everything seems insignificant compared to the unchanging vastness of life and …show more content…
A prime example of this is when Perry’s sister, Barbara, referred to their childhood as “a doom against which virtue was no defense (133),” meaning there is nothing he could do to better in his life, leaving him hopeless. These quotes give the impression that the events were inevitable. Another example of a fatalistic tone in the text is when Myrtle Clare says, "You live till you die, and it doesn't matter how you go; dead's dead (146)." She does not say this with any emotion, only resignation that her life is not under her control. The tone continues to be of resignation, but is also slightly morbid, when Dewey thinks, “the victims might as well have been killed by lightning (245)” adds to the predestination ideas because even without Dick and Perry, the deaths would have happened somehow. Similarly, at the end of the novel, the time flashes foreword and depicts a vision of the future, showing that tragedies fade away as time passes. This ending by Capote adds to the fatalistic tone because it agrees with the ideas of Dick and Perry that rules are meaningless, do whatever you want, and nothing matters. Time passes and there is nothing you or anyone else can do to change

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