In Cold Blood: Presentation of Barbara's Thoughts and Feelings

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  • Topic: Adjective, Feeling, Noun
  • Pages : 2 (718 words )
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  • Published : April 15, 2013
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Use integrated linguistic and literary approaches to examine how capote presents Barbara’s thoughts and feelings.

Barbara’s thoughts and feelings are presented by a metaphor “ it is no shame to have a dirty face – the shame comes when you keep it dirty” this shows Barbara is disappointed but willing to forgive Perry if he cleans his face referring to the crimes he has committed and learns from it. The adjective “dirty” is a metaphor for Perry’s misdeeds; Barbara metaphorically claims that Perry’s “dirty” past has continued to show itself because he refuses to clean it up. Barbara also mentions “shame”, which would be undoubtedly felt, this could be interpreted by the reader as an alternative or additional aspect of the metaphor, the “dirt” is not only affecting him but also his family. It is being spread amongst the other family members due to the fact that Perry’s criminal career is so prolific. Similarly in ‘the true history of the Kelly gang’ a metaphor is also used to present Ned’s thoughts and feelings, “ I lost my own father at 12 years of age and know what it is like to be raised on lies and silences”. Here the metaphor gives off a different effect, a one of sympathy towards Ned rather than the negative one shown in ‘in cold blood’. The noun “silences” makes Ned look alone, isolated and gives off a feel of privation. In both texts the situation is made out to be something it is not, in cold blood gives the killers thoughts and feelings as if they are normal everyday citizens and Ned is portrayed as innocent when we know of his true historically correct criminal life.

Barbara is obviously ashamed of Perry and disappointed in him for not trying to make himself a better person. She knows she is not “an authority” or “boasts great intelligence” but she tries to help him and yet Perry blames others for his own actions, and completely refrains from taking responsibility for his behaviour. The way Barbara feels is demonstrated in the letter she writes...
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