top-rated free essay

In Cold Blood Essay Questions

By tinar Feb 15, 2012 531 Words
in Cold Blood Questions

1) In Cold Blood is a non-fiction novel, but how is it more like journalism than an ordinary work of fiction?

Truman Capote wrote the book in brief sections, setting the scene and then putting a break in the narrative, the way the book is structured with several plotlines happening at the same time it keeps the reader on edge, giving it a classic crime-genre technique to always keep the reader in suspense. On top of this he pays close attention to the setting around the dialogue, producing powerful imagery for the reader. The dialogue is factual, which reduces Capotes’ personal involvement, and with the descriptive, tense paragraphs, to heighten suspense. In the book we see two of the main characters, Dick and Perry, their interests and family background which we can see Capotes’ journalism through his reporting. In an interview for the New York Times in 1966, Capote said, "It seemed to me that journalism, reportage, could be forced to yield a serious new art form: the 'nonfiction novel,' as I thought of it ... Journalism is the most underestimated, the least explored of literary mediums,"

2) In what ways does Capote reveal the nature of his research through the construction of the book?

In Cold Blood takes a unique view on a horrific story, and gives a non-biased opinion, by looking into the minds of the people involved. In Capotes’ research he found that his background was surprisingly close to one of the man characters, Perry Smith, with both the author and the character both ridiculed as children. Though we can see that the author doesn’t forgive Perry, we can see Capotes’ sympathy. Capote knew how powerful suspense can be, and he used this to the full potential. With the clutter bodies being found at the house twice, with a quote that spans six pages. Also when Perry Smith makes his confession, 200 pages later, there is another quote that spans several pages, with the quote broken up only when he was interrupted by the questioner.

3) How does Capote colour the opening section of the book with a sense of impending murder and doom? What does this tell you about the book's relationship to journalism?


With the opening chapter being named “the Last To See Them Alive” We can immediately see that murder is about to take place. Also when Capote starts describing the characters he keeps referring to the Clutter family’s day as their last. This gives us the impending idea that the reader is aware of what happens from the opening chapter. With the murder case being a true story that happened a long time ago, the author assumes that the reader will know the story before they’ve read the book. Thus Capote builds up tension and emphasises the upcoming deaths. With most current news stories being repeated many times, journalists try and find a new angle to keep the story fresh, we can see that Capote has tried to do this in his novel, to take a news story that people have heard before and try and adapt it to keep the reader interested.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • In Cold Blood Essay Questions

    ...1. In the novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, based on a true story, there is no one main character. There is actually two main characters. The two main characters are the killers of the Clutter family, Mr. Perry Edward Smith, and Mr. Richard Eugene Hickock. These two men murdered the Clutter family for some money, which in total was about $40...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood

    ...Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood, was a breakthrough in literacy in that it was accredited as the first non-fiction novel. There was a lot of controversy when the book was first published because of the incredibility of the work. This could be expected in that time, because people where not familiar with the concept of non-fict...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood

    ...In Cold Blood Essay In Cold Blood written by Truman Capote is novel were most of the readers that read the book, have to think more than enjoy. The novel is about a murder of four members of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas who were murdered by two men, which go by the names of Perry Smith and Dick Hickok. Throughout the novel Capote bu...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood

    ...Cortney Anderson Michael Thornton American Lit. 3 December 2014 Paired Novel Assignment 1 The Novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a well-written creative non-fiction book about a true murder case of the Clutter family. The novel touches upon the American values in the way that the American dream is fairly recurrent in the main characters...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood Essay

    ...AP Composition: Essay Assignment for Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Monique Steyn. Murder, mystery, suspense. For the first time these elements were combined into a non-fiction novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. In Cold Blood was, according to the author, based solely on real occurrences. After 5years of intense research a...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood Essay

    ...A murderer or mentally ill? In Cold Blood, a novel based on a true account of a multiple murder written by Truman Capote is an outstanding masterpiece. This is novel is about the murder of the Clutter family in a small town called Holocomb, Kansas. However, Capote has focused more on the murderers - Perry Smith nad Richard Hickock - ratehr t...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood Essay

    ...The Relationship Changes of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith Throughout In Cold Blood the friendship of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith changes quite often. Even though the two may believe that they need each other and that they are similar in each and every way, they each put their own personal profit above one another whether it is for small change...

    Read More
  • In Cold Blood

    ...In Cold Blood was the story of two men whom were on parole when they brutally killed the Clutter family, a successful farm family from Holcomb Kansas. Perry Smith along with Richard Dick Hancock were hanged for the murders. Perry was a short man with a tall temper he never married; Perry was mentally and physically abused by his father as a chil...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.