The Importance Of Murder In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Murder is a very sensitive and important part of America’s past, present, and future. There are many murders that can take place everywhere, and they can happen at any time. In 1959, Herb Clutter’s farm family was murdered by two ex-prisoners that were ruthless. The book In Cold Blood, written by Truman Capote, shows his views of the crime committed by Perry Smith and Richard “Dick” Hickock. Capote states the facts of the case, but in an attempt to make readers feel sympathy for the killers, he changes some information to make others believe they were innocent. There is something about the timing of the book. America in 1959 was at a crossroads; it was still recovering from the second World War and the ensuing economic boom. The country was…show more content…
Capote does so by continuing to contrast the world of Dick and Perry with that of the Clutters, implying by doing so that, that in an orderly universe these two realms should not intertwine” (Masterplots 3163-4). One of the novel’s fictional characteristics is the arrangements of the material so that the murders take on a universal significance. In the Clutter world, one must “believe in and adhere to the principles of justice and humanity. One is responsible for one’s actions” (Masterplots 3164). Capote believed that humanity and nature should have harmony. The way harmony between humanity and nature is disrupted by the murders, the community is “perplexed and frightened” (Masterplots 3164). Capote’s infractions also raise enduring questions about the slippery boundary between the truth and fiction in narrative journalism, and the relationships between a reporter and his sources. He didn’t help matters by announcing that he “found the presence of a tape recorder or notebook intrusive when conduction interviews, and preferred to rely on his own recollection” of what his sources said (Keefe). Sometimes he said he had “ninety-six per cent total recall” and sometimes he said he had “ninety-four per cent recall” (Keefe). He could recall everything , but he could never remember what percentage recall he had. But what is interesting, given that Capote omitted any mention of himself from the narrative, is the degree to which we remain fascinated by. This is an evasive bit of self-delusion; Capote wasn’t just “distilling” reality, he was composing accounts that diverged from his own notes and “conjuring whole scenes”
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