Nancy's Bedroom: Rhetorical Analysis

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Christopher Schwenk
Mrs. Medlin
APLAC-3
12 October 2012

Rhetorical Analysis
In "Nancy's Bedroom" from Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Capote tries to reveal the femininity and innocence of Nancy Clutter. He uses this as an example to reveal the greater truth that conclusions can be drawn about one's character from a small piece of information about one's personal space and activities.

One device that Capote uses toward the beginning of the selection in the first paragraph is a simple polysendeton in "pink or blue or white." He follows the trend by the repetitious use of colors as adjectives in parallel structure in clauses with a subject-apposition-predicate structure. Capote also uses the repetition of ideas to emphasize their significance. In the first paragraph, a boy named Bobby is mentioned three times. Capote continues and uses short, successive verb phrases (i.e. "swinging a bat, dribbling a basketball, driving a tractor"). He uses these devices to provide background information about Nancy that helps reveal the innocent, typical content of her character. Capote also sets a mysterious tone toward the end of the first paragraph by using words with a negative, creepy connotation (i.e. "deceased" "died... mysteriously" "poison" "encumbered"). This change in tone emphasizes the tragic viewpoint from which the account of her bedroom comes: a murder investigation.

In the second paragraph, Capote returns to the original light-hearted tone that he used at the beginning of the selection, now beginning a description of her night time routines. Capote begins the use of very long, broken, descriptive sentences. The detailed descriptions of her beauty and care routines stress the further image of Nancy's typical femininity for a girl her age. Capote, again, flashes to the negative creepy tone in the last sentence of the paragraph by alluding to her death.

In the third paragraph, Capote begins his description of Nancy's daily diary. The most common device...
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