Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: A Nonfiction Murder Mystery

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: A Nonfiction Murder Mystery

Length: 474 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the author uses a style of writing combining factual, journalistic writing with the mystery and intrigue normally found in traditional fiction novels to develop a new genre that critics found unique from the modernists of his time. In the beginning of this book, the murders and victims seem unrelated, but as the book moves ahead, the relationship becomes clear. The victims, who are the Clutter family of four, are the typical all-American family. The family is murdered in their own home by two ex-convicts named Dick and Perry. The murder takes place in Holcomb, Kansas, but Dick and Perry travel around the U.S. and Mexico cashing bad checks until they are finally caught in Las Vegas.
     Capote’s general style revolves around a family and home destroyed within a context of hidden corruption, alienation, and loneliness (Kazin). His sympathy and compassion towards his characters shows how involved he is in his subjects.
     Capote’s writing style in the book In Cold Blood is very straightforward. He writes from an omniscient point of view. In preparing to write In Cold Blood, Mr. Capote lived in the town for five years. In the course of that time, he interviewed everyone including the two murders Dick and Perry. H had taken over 6,000 pages of notes. Each scene in the book is climatic like a movie (Kazin). They go back and forth the investigation in Kansas to the adventures of the murders. The writing and scenes are visual (Kazin).
     Truman Capote’s writing falls into the modernism period. The Clutter family represents the ideal American family. The father is a successful farmer and a prominent figure in the town. The daughter is the all-American girl “…be a straight-A student, the president of her class, a leader in the 4-H program and the Young Methodists League, a skilled rider, an excellent musician (piano, clarinet), an annual winner at the county fair (pastry, preserves, needlework, flower arrangement)…” (18). Capote is also experimental with his formatting of the book by cutting from scene to scene to make the reader feel as if they are reading two stories at the same time. That reinforces the thought and fact that the two things are happening at the same time.
     This book can be considered both journalism and novelism (Langbaum).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: A Nonfiction Murder Mystery." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Dec 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=71273>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Cold Blood By Truman Capote Essay

- How can it be that four members of a family, such as the Clutters, could have been murdered in cold blood. Who would want to commit such a horrible crime. What could the killer’s motivation be. These are key points and questions for the book “In Cold Blood”. I chose the book, “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. I think that this book is a good source for the theme of psychosis and violence. My main interest in this book and its underlying theme is found in my own personality. I am a people watcher....   [tags: In Cold Blood, Capote, Truman Capote, Infamous]

Research Papers
1196 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

- According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word “Fiction” is described as being “A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact” (Fiction). Fiction generally can be categorized into six sub-genres: historical, horror, mystery, romance, westerns, and science fiction. However, Capote’s novel In Cold Blood cannot be easily placed in any of these categories. With the publication of Capote’s groundbreaking work in 1965, many critics argued as to what genre it belonged in; today this conflict is still relevant....   [tags: In Cold Blood Essays]

Research Papers
1410 words (4 pages)

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: Novel vs Movie Essay

- The book, “In Cold Blood”, is a nonfiction story by Truman Capote. This book presents one of the worst murders in history. It was a best seller worldwide, and turned into a successful movie. As usual the movie does not stand up to the book. If you want more knowledge of the townspeople, victims and more insight into the trial, more background details of the murders, you should read the book. If you are interested in history and a good murder mystery all in the confines of a book cover, read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote....   [tags: In Cold Blood Essays]

Research Papers
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

- Literature attempts to shape or reflect society, and oftentimes literature reveals truths and provides insight into the condition of that society. The American Dream is a dominant theme in American literature, and in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the idealistic dream is critically evaluated. In this paper, I will explain the context of the work, and then I will compare and contrast Dick any Perry (the murderers) with the Clutter family (the murdered) in relation to the theme of the fragility of the American Dream....   [tags: story analysis, the American Dream]

Research Papers
1584 words (4.5 pages)

The Cold Blood, By Truman Capote Essay

- 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....   [tags: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, Capote, Infamous]

Research Papers
1801 words (5.1 pages)

The Outsider : The Cold Blood, Truman Capote Essay

- The Outsider: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote The re-invention of Capote The contrast between the dark introductory scene with that of the quiet farmhouse scene helps to build the difference between the outsider (Capote) and his new friends at the party. His rather charismatic and friendly rapport endears him to the crow encircling him to hear his juicy tales about Jimmy Baldwin; who seemingly has a new novel in its final stage. This chatter seems to be his initial entry strategy into this rather quiet Holcombe town, Kansas....   [tags: Truman Capote, In Cold Blood]

Research Papers
1196 words (3.4 pages)

The Cold Blood, By Truman Capote Essay

- “The paths of glory lead but to the grave,” (Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, 332) Glory is such an estranged concept and what one actually perceives as glory is defined only by personal values. Some value monetary status, or fame, or reputation, being charitable or intellectual- but for a certain few people, glory is power. Glory is knowing that you hold power over life and death. It’s also acting upon that power. The book In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, follows the case of two men who brutally murdered four innocent people of which neither shared any acquaintance....   [tags: Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, Holcomb, Kansas]

Research Papers
1349 words (3.9 pages)

The Cold Blood By Truman Capote Essay

- If you were to ask me if In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is worthy enough to be a novel I would defiantly say yes. When I initially started reading the book I didn’t think it would be a good book, but as I read more and more of the story it became very interesting. In my opinion, Truman Capote made the book so that every part that you read makes you wonder what is going to happen next. In Cold Blood is a Fiction/Literature book, which is a book that is “created from the imagination, not presented as fact, though it may be based on a true story or situation.” "fiction"....   [tags: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, Harper Lee]

Research Papers
1349 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis Of Truman Capote 's ' Cold Blood ' Essay example

- Crime is seen by the public opinion is unorthodox as well as cruel, in turn the public believes that only sick and twisted people from horrid backgrounds are capable of committing crime. Novelist and journalist Truman Capote writes in his book, In Cold Blood, about the Holcomb, Kansas murders of the Clutter family. The general public believed that the criminals were insane, but Capote wanted a deeper insight into the story by analyzing the crime and the murderers. Through embedding himself in his characters, fiction-style nonfiction, irony, foreshadowing, repetition, and cinematic style of writing, Truman Capote portrays crime and evil as normal human emotions that are poorly expressed in un...   [tags: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, Emotion, Capote]

Research Papers
1026 words (2.9 pages)

Truman Capote 's Cold Blood Essay examples

- On November 15, 1959, four members of the Clutter family were murdered in their own house in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas in the middle of the night by two strangers looking for money that was never there. The story of the murder and its consequences has been told in the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote as well as the movie In Cold Blood and the movie Capote. All three pieces tell the story about the family and the murderers, and all three pieces are interesting and entertaining, but it depends on every person 's interest to decide which of the three is better....   [tags: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, The New Yorker]

Research Papers
1194 words (3.4 pages)

Related Searches

It sounds like a mixture of a news paper article and a mystery novel. It’s presented as a bundle of letters, a journal, and an autobiography, like life itself (Langbaum). The writing in a way even seems like a documentary (Kazin).
     Using modernist styles, Capote took a different approach to retell a murder mystery. In the process, he contributed towards the establishment of a serious new literary form: the nonfiction novel (Langbaum). This outspoken author has added a new genre to literature and has gained critics’ respect in the process.
Return to 123HelpMe.com