Questionable Motives Explored in in Cold Blood and Frankenstein

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The two texts that are to be studied are Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley and In Cold Blood with the author Truman Capote. The dates these texts are published are very contrasting themselves with the most recent novel being In Cold blood; it was issued in 1966. The other book being a literature classic was published in 1818. In Cold Blood is a non-fiction novel being a true account detailing a brutal multiple murder of the Clutter family from Holcomb and the consequences following that crime. The book follows the victims before their deaths and the police force that were searching for the murderers but mostly, Truman Capote concentrates on the psychological relationship between the two parolees that together committed the most atrocious and spotaneous act ever seen in that State of America. Although, the novel is hardly a factual document as it is obviously a reconstruction, therefore containing some fictional aspects to create the shock and empathy that was needed for the book to become a national bestseller for Capote. Frankenstein on the other hand, is a scientific thriller fiction novel written a lot earlier, which describes the journey that comes from a creature being brought to life in an illegal scientific experiment carried out by Victor Frankenstein. The creation is then abandoned by his maker and the plot then becomes a game of cat and mouse between the wounded and vengeful monster and the frightened, remorseful scientist. The creature is devastated by a world that turns it's back on him and he becomes angry at Victor and begins to try and ruin his life in revenge by killing all of his close family and friends. They both travel to the Artic where they meet their deaths.

The theme for this essay is 'questionable motives'. The definition of questionable motives is a person's reasons for doing something appearing to be genuine and honest whereas they may hold a more sinister internal reasoning or vice versa. These play a large part in both novels but more substantially in In Cold Blood where the murders appear to be committed without reason. The two extracts I have chosen to focus on from these novels contain many quotes that harbour questionable motives. For example, in In Cold Blood, I chose a passage which contains Perry recounting his murder of the family and the way he saw it. I thought that this extract would relate to questionable motives mainly because Perry had a lot of bad feelings about the murder which were highlighted in the passage. In Frankenstein, the extract I chose was the meeting of the Creature and the old french grandfather whose family the monster had been observing for a matter of weeks. I chose this extract because it showed the monsters amiable side but then in the next paragraph, the monsters declining esteem and respect for the human race is portrayed as he is banished from the families home. Motives for him going to the family for aid and for them quickly expelling him from their home can be explored.

The genre's of the two novels are much alike, each appertaining to the horror theme. In Cold Blood, however is a non fiction crime novel whereas Frankenstein is more science fiction. The genre conventions for these two types of text are fairly similar and considering they're both 'horror' texts, the way the horror is implied - through a lot of detail and imagery - makes the reader become more involved with the text and more likely to understand these 'questionable motives' from the character's point of view. The normal aspects of the gothic genre include gloomy settings and wild landscapes which are frequently illustrated in Frankenstein. The structure of both texts is also relative to the horror theme, with the two novels containing snappy short chapters (in In Cold Blood these chapters are exchanged for short snappy paragraphs) switching from one character's viewpoint to anothers each time, giving a tense and suspense filled atmosphere which is also common in thrillers. The...
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