In Cold Blood Narrative

1075 Words 5 Pages
When Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood, he took the responsibility of writing a novel, while incorporating facts about the Clutter family murder. Because the killings were a sensitive matter to the people of Holcomb and the Clutters’ relatives during the time of his research, Capote had to find a way to respect the sentiments of the people affected by being as accurate as possible. However, the author adds in elements commonly used in a novel to dramatize the situation and add the element of mystery to it. The combination of fictional devices and journalism allows Capote to document the occasion, while adding his own characterization and personal touch on the situation. While the murders did take place in Kansas, and the detailed descriptions …show more content…
Capote also uses elements of a fictional novel to establish his own opinions and ideas. For instance, the second criminal, Perry Smith, reveals his opinion on the death penalty before his execution; “I think…it’s a helluva thing to take a life in this manner. I don’t believe in capital punishment, morally or legally” (340). While it is possible that Smith mentioned his opposition to capital punishment to Capote during their meeting, the author uses the book as a medium to convey his own feelings about the topic. Similarly, although Capote never directly mentions the ideal of the American Dream, he often refers to it frequently, as it seems to be the ultimate goal of every character in the story. None of the characters actually manage to fulfil this dream due to certain obstacles, uncovering the fragility of the ideal. For example, towards the middle of the book, Hickock’s father reveals a major setback that prevented his son from achieving a prosperous life; “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” (166). Capote disproves the belief that having a perfect childhood decreases Hickock’s chances of commiting the crime and explains the repressed emotions that cause him to act the way

Related Documents