How Is Tension Created in Truman Capote's in Cold Blood

Topics: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, Holcomb, Kansas Pages: 2 (782 words) Published: October 23, 2012
In the first chapter of In Cold Blood, Truman Capote uses many different techniques and types of languages in order to create tension in order to prepare and engage the reader. In this chapter, the way Capote writes creates a definitive sense of anticipation, leading the reader to read on and preparing them for events that will occur in the future. At the very beginning of this chapter, capote begins with a description of the town of Holcomb setting a scene in order to create a dramatic atmosphere. He does this in the first few pages by describing Holcomb at first as a very quiet, peaceful and insignificant town, using language such as “Holcomb too could be seen from great distances. Not that there is much to see”, gives the reader an immediate impression that Holcomb is not cared about by people outside the community. Another quote to strengthen this point would be when other Kansans outside of Holcomb describe the town as “out there”. Capote uses this description in order to engage and prepare the reader using tension by using the quote “Until one morning in Mid-November of 1959, few Americans – in fact few Kansans had ever heard of Holcomb.” This is a very strong sentence as it informs the reader of an event that is going to occur in the future, and the peaceful atmosphere shifts to one of tension. However, one of the most prominent quotes that capote includes in the first chapter in order to prepare the reader in my opinion is “four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives.” This is the most effective piece of language used in order to prepare the reader for events, as it also creates tension effectively. By revealing the outcome of the event without any key details, Capote suspends and engages the reader effectively, forcing them to read on to find out more. By structuring In Cold Blood like this, Capote involves the reader more in the story as they are following the book in the order it occurs, preparing them in advance for what happens in the...
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