What Is The Diction In Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood'?

1209 Words 5 Pages
In the 1965 novel In Cold Blood, the author, Truman Capote writes of the Clutter family tragedy and the aftermath. Capote narrates subjectively, allowing his opinions and feelings affect the way the reader feels towards the story and characters. Throughout the novel, Capote’s use of diction, detail, syntax, and figurative language leads the reader to make a distinction between Perry and Dick.
The most essential fact in determining whether Capote is an objective or subjective narrator is indirectly mentioned only once in the novel. Capote and Perry, over the course of many years, visits, and conversations developed a strong relationship. So strong, in fact, that some question if the two were in love (Andrew Gumbel n.pag.). In the process of
…show more content…
When speaking of his childhood, the diction Capote uses further antagonizes Dick. Capote writes, “‘She 's wonderful, my mother. Dad 's a good guy, too. I 'd say they did the best for me they could.’” When hearing words such as “wonderful” and “good guy,” the reader thinks of the typical household, one that brings up good children. But, Dick is an exception, who despite his capable parents, has turned into an evil, cold-hearted killer. Capote’s use of rhetorical questions makes the reader believe that Dick is truly worse than Perry, “Why should that sonofabitch have everything, while he had nothing?” Here, Dick is written to seem selfish, and money hungry. He is envious of the things others have, and will do almost anything to obtain wealth. Capote also uses this question to make Dick seem arrogant, implicitly arguing that the things he’s done do not make him deserving of wealth, even if they were difficult. From the beginning of the novel, Dick is shown to be “authentically tough, invulnerable, ‘totally masculine.’” Capote mostly characterizes Dick as an emotionally hard man, for example, taking pleasure in running over dogs, “‘Boy!’ he said – and it was what he always said after running down a dog, which was something he did whenever the opportunity arose. ‘Boy! We sure splattered him!’” (Capote 108) An example of asyndeton, Capote writes, “he had ‘no respect for people who can 't control themselves sexually,’ especially when the lack of control involved what he called ‘pervertiness’ - ‘bothering kids,’ ‘queer stuff,’ rape.” By removing the conjunctions, Capote makes the list of Dick’s wrong doings seem endless, emphasizing his

Related Documents