In Cold Blood Literary Analysis

Topics: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, Richard Hickock Pages: 4 (1586 words) Published: October 27, 2013
Literary Analysis of In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood, written by Truman Capote, is a book that encloses the true story of a family, the Clutters, whose lives were brutally ended by the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun. The killers were 2 men, each with 2 different backgrounds and personalities, each with his own reasons to take part in such a harrowing deed. Capote illustrates the events leading up to the murder in sharp detail and describes its aftermath with such a perspective that one feels that he is right there with the culprits, whose names are Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. They had very critical roles in the murder and how they themselves were caught, and in many ways they were foils for one another. Through Capote's extensive descriptions of Dick and Perry, and his use of dialogue, imagery, and point-of-view, he makes their individual roles in the story evident and makes clear the fact that they counterbalance each other, with their opposite personalities playing major parts in the Clutter murder case.

Dick and Perry's upbringings were vastly contrasting, and their effects were evident as the men grew and developed. Capote illustrates Perry's childhood with explicit detail and does not hold back.  Perry's upbringing was marred with violence, tragedy, and misdirection. His mother and father were divorced, and constantly had issues with each other. His mother became an alcoholic, and eventually died upon choking on her own vomit(106). He lived in, by all means, a broken home. His entire family, save for one sister, had suffered in some sort of way. Perry gives the gist of his family's status with saying, "Jimmy a suicide. Fern out the window. My mother dead. Been dead eight years. Everybody gone but dad and Barbara.'" (Capote 134). Perry's sister Fern had fallen out of a hotel window to her Khan 2

death, with police finding a bottle of alcohol in her possession. Perry's other brother shot himself, and Perry's father walked out of his children's lives when...

Cited: Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1993. Print.
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