The American Dream By Truman Capote Essay

The American Dream By Truman Capote Essay

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In the nonfiction novel, “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, the author tells a story of the murderers and victims of a slaughter case in Holcomb, Kansas. Instead of writing a book on the murder case as a crime report, the author decides to write about the people. The people we learn about are the killers, Dick and Perry, and the murdered family, the Clutters. The author describes how each family was and makes the portrayals of Dick and Perry’s family different from the Clutters.The portrayal of the Clutters and of Dick and Perry’s families, was used to describe what the American Dream was for each character. In the beginning we learn about what type of family the Clutters were and how they represented the American Dream for the people of Holcomb. Later we learn about the family of Dick and Perry and what the American Dream was for them. We also learn how the American Dream has changed for Perry, Dick and for everyone living in Kansas, throughout the book. The American Dream is very important, as we learn how it differed for each character depending on their portrayal of their families. The importance of the author using the portrayals of the characters families was to emphasize the American Dream for different types of people.
The Clutter family portrayed the American dream for all people in Holcomb, as they are described to be almost the perfect family, or dream family. The Clutters are a strong family of 6 with a well liked father and mother, and successful children. Their family is well known throughout the village of Holcomb and are the most idolized. Mr.Clutter represents what every man should be, as he was “the community’s most widely known citizen” and prominent in everything he did. He was known for taking part in the commu...


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...ers lived the actual American Dream while Dick and Perry were moving farther away from it. Dick and Perry never reached the American Dream because they got caught up trying to take the easier road or the lazy road to success instead of working like the Clutters. The Clutters represent the ideal American Dream and its success while we learn people like Dick and Perry will most likely never achieve it. Dick and Perry’s way of coming close to the American Dream was by living the life of crime. They thought they could take a shortcut into achieving the dream by simply robbing it of others, not realizing they were only robbing themselves of it. The portrayal of the Clutter family is used to differentiate the portrayals of Dick and Perry’s families by showing us how family can affect the achievement and how the American Dream also differentiates based on family portrayals.

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