Truman Capote's In Cold Blood Essay

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According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word “Fiction” is described as being “A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact” (Fiction). Fiction generally can be categorized into six sub-genres: historical, horror, mystery, romance, westerns, and science fiction. However, Capote’s novel In Cold Blood cannot be easily placed in any of these categories. With the publication of Capote’s groundbreaking work in 1965, many critics argued as to what genre it belonged in; today this conflict is still relevant.
Around the time of the novels publication in the late 1960s, a new literary genre had begun to surface: New Journalism. Developed by columnist Tom Wolfe, New Journalism combined
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Capote obtained most of the quotes from Perry and Dick by doing interviews with the men after they were arrested; it is through the interviews where Capote learns of Perry’s personal history, his relationship with Dick Hickok, his letter from his sister, and the actual occurrences of brutal murders.
In the first chapter of In Cold Blood, Capote uses detailed descriptions of Holcomb, every sentence reads as if the reader is actually in the middle of Kansas prairie: “The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them” (3). Capote also gives the readers snapshots of the Clutters’ life using accurate descriptions from people who actually knew them. The readers learn that Nancy was devotedly involved in 4-H; that she was organized, well-liked, Class President at her high school, and dedicated to her boyfriend Bobby. Of Kenyon, the studious one, who enjoyed chasing coyotes with his friends in his Model-A Ford. The Clutter parents, the readers learn, were quiet hard-working Mid-west people who were active in their church. Mr. Clutter, from the people that knew him, described him as being much like his character is portrayed, a community leader involved in many organizations; however, the descriptions of Mrs. Clutter are under suspicion. The people that knew Bonnie Clutter say that Capote exaggerated when

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