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Essay on In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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 Independent Reading Book: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
 Ethos/Logos
Truman Capote establishes respect and trust in what he writes from with audience, ethos, through the use of an extensive variety of facts and statistics, logos. Capote uses so many dates, times, and other facts about the crime committed in the book and the subsequent investigation that the reader has to believe what the author is writing. The use of all these facts shows that Capote did his research and he interviewed, questioned, and obtained the opinions of every person that even slightly important to crime itself and the investigation/trial. The author is obviously very meticulous when it comes to dates and times; every important event in the book has a date and sometimes even a time of day to go with it. Some examples of dates included were the day of the murders (November 15th, 1959), dates of when Perry and Dick were here or there (December 31th, 1959- a small restaurant in Texas or noon on December 25th, 1959- beach in Miami Florida), date when the two criminals were apprehended (January 1st, 1960), dates when they were brought from this prison to that one and finally when they were brought to death’s row (April, 1960). Other small facts are also used by the author, like facts about the criminal’s early lives or experiences that they had, which could only have been obtained through extensive interviews with Perry and Dick. The use of all these logos by Capote establishes strong ethos, showing the reader that the author did more than enough research to show that he has the knowledge to write a whole book on the subject.


 Pathos
Capote used pathos in this book mostly to make the reader sad or feel sympathy for a character. In the beginning of the bo...


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...acter this way”? The student could then answer that the author is trying to make the reader like the character or feel an emotional connection to the character, this could be taken as an appeal to pathos as well. An excerpt from the book that contains a lot of dates or facts could have a prompt like “How does the author establish ethos in this passage”? Then the student describe the use of many facts and dates (logos) to show the author has done plenty of research to be knowledgeable about the topic (ethos). A third AP prompt could come from an excerpt in the book where there is a lot of imagery, the prompt could be “Discuss the author’s use of rhetorical devices in this passage”. The student could write about the author’s very descriptive word choice (diction) and how he uses those words to create imagery in the passage and help the reader visualize the situation.



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