Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

Length: 707 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Truman Capote was first introduced to the story of the brutal killing of the Clutter family ??one morning in November of 1959, while flicking through The New York Times, I encountered on a deep inside page, this headline: Wealthy Farmer, 3 of Family Slain? (Capote, 3). He decided to write about the crime committed in Kansas, because ?murder was a theme not likely to darken and yellow with time? (Capote, 3). Capote promptly headed for Kansas, where he spent six years researching, solving, and writing about the unforgivable act. Truman Capote?s In Cold Blood, the final product of his years of research, is a masterfully written account of the cold-blooded murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. In writing In Cold Blood, Capote presents the blood-curdling story of the brutal killing of the Clutter family in a journalistic style, and is able to exclude his point of view on all of the events; ?The most difficult thing in In Cold Blood is that I never appear in it, but I solved it?The whole thing was done from Al Dewey?s point of view? (Newsweek, 60). Because of Capote?s immeasurable talent for writing, he is able to present factual events, just as in a journalistic article, in a style that seems similar to a fiction novel. His focus in In Cold Blood is on the facts of the events which occur before, during, and after the murder of Mr. Clutter; Kenyon, his fifteen year old son; Nancy, his 16 year old daughter; and, Bonnie, his wife. Capote?s emphasis on the facts can be seen through his thorough account of what the murderers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, took from the Clutter?s house, which was about thirty dollars from Mr. Clutter?s billfold, ??some change and a dollar or two? (239) from Mrs. Clutter, a silver dollar from Nancy, and a radio. Added up, Perry and Dick gained ?between forty and fifty dollars? (246) from their visit to the Clutter?s house. As well as being written in a journalistic style, In Cold Blood is written in a documentary style, which switches ??back and forth from the worlds of the Clutter family, and later of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, to the terrible half-world in which the two murderers live? (McCabe, 561). By writing in the documentary style, Capote is able to be specific about the thoughts, feelings, and actions of all of the characters separately, making each character?

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Things Fall Apart." 21 Sep 2018

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on The Collision of Beliefs in Things Fall Apart

- No one likes to be told how to live. In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, missionaries came to Africa to teach the natives a new way of life, Christianity. The natives had lived one way their entire life, and enacted their beliefs whole-heartedly. European missionaries wanted to convert them from these ways. Each group of people had a difficulties communicating with each other; this caused a type of ignorance towards the other. Joseph Conrad did an adequate job portraying the views of Europeans in his novel Heart of Darkness and why they felt they needed to be in Africa....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1161 words (3.3 pages)

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- “Tragedy arouses not only pity but also fear…” Things Fall Apart doesn’t tell you what “has” happened it shows you what is going to happen. In Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe is dramatizing what may happen and what was happening. The District commissioner suggested a book title at the end of the book. I think the book title’s main purpose was to suggest what may happen.”…The Pacification of the Lower Niger Tribes.” A tragedy has a protagonist, the protagonist is someone who is renowned or prosperous, and has a change of fortune from good to bad or vice versa....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Things Fall Apart: Questions and Answers Essay

- 3. Whites often referred to Africa as the “Dark Continent,” a place of evil. Considering Igbo traditional beliefs and the colonial encounter between Britain and the Igbo, where is evil located in this book. In the Things Fall Apart, Achebe (1969) portrays Nigeria at a time when the arrival of the British was intrusive as they crept within Nigeria’s borders and made an overwhelming influence while they claimed that Nigerians were ultimately evil and needed to be controlled. In essence, it appears that one of Achebe’s (1969) goals is to convey to readers what the British’s alternative motives were when British colonialism occurred....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
532 words (1.5 pages)

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- Chinua Achebe is a well known contemporary writer from Africa. In his first novel, Things Fall Apart, deals with the conflict of cultures and the violent changes and values brought upon by the British colonialism of Nigeria. Critics say that Achebe book “Things Fall Apart” was influenced by Yeats’s view of history and time in his poem, “The Second Coming” and his use of Irish Folklore. A.G. Stock commented that Achebe was influenced by Yeats’s use of Irish legends to produce his understanding of the chronological process....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1699 words (4.9 pages)

Universal Symbolism in Things Fall Apart Essay

- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a novel written to highlight the intriguing lives and misconceptions that are often identified with African culture. Achebe writes Things Fall Apart from the African view, a foreign perspective that sees westerners as the outsiders and Africans as the insiders. Focusing on a clan in lower Nigeria, Achebe profiles the clash of cultures that erupts when white Christians colonize and spread their religious ideals. Achebe is able to make his book so popular to the entire world because of his expert use of symbols like drums, locusts, and fire....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay example

- In the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, women play the roles of oppressed homemakers that are perceived as weak and defenseless second-class citizens, as the educators of children, and as spiritual leaders in traditional Ibo culture. Through the life of Okonwo, the main character of Things Fall Apart, the roles of women in traditional Ibo culture are presented through various events that take place in the village of Umuofia. In traditional Ibo culture, women were to stay at home and tend to her husbands’ needs and satisfy them....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Things Fall Apart: Questions and Answers Essay

- Q1. Describe Okonkwo, the protagonist of Things Fall Apart. Consider him as an Igbo hero character: How does he achieve greatness and defined by his culture. How does he differ from Western heroes you are familiar with. What are Okwonko’s strengths and weaknesses. Okonkwo embodies all the ideal and heroic traits of the Igbo culture. He is strong, authoritative, hardworking, and successful. The opening sentence states that “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond” (3)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Free Essays
2705 words (7.7 pages)

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

- Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart” is a story about a man named Okonkwo who is successful and physically strong. However, Okonkwo is emotionally unavailable and afraid that he will be seen as weak and that others will compare him to his father. The book’s peak is when Okonkwo does something considered immoral by killing a boy who he had taken in and raised as his own for three years, because he did not want to be seen as weak. Okonkwo is ruled by one obsession and that is to hate everything that his father had loved....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1844 words (5.3 pages)

Conflict and Tradition in Things Fall Apart Essay

- Conflict and Tradition in Things Fall Apart The book Things Fall Apart successfully expressed how Chinua Achebe had succeeded in writing a different story. It pointed out the conflict of oneself, the traditional beliefs, and the religious matters of the Africans. Throughout the novel, Chinua Achebe used simple but dignified words and unlike other books, he also included some flashbacks and folktales to make the novel more interesting and comprehensible. Things Fall Apart was about a man named Okonkwo, who was always struggling with his inner fear although he was known for being a strong, powerful, and fearless warior....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
745 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

- People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe    Karl Marx believed that all of history could be reduced to two tiny words: class struggle. In any period of time a dominant class exploits a weaker class. Marx defines a dominant class as one who owns or controls the means of production. The weaker class consists of those who don't. In Marx's day, the age of Almighty Industry, the means of production were factories. But as a literary theory Marxism needs no factories to act as means of production....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Chinua Achebe Essays]

Research Papers
1669 words (4.8 pages)

Related Searches

s situation and point of view clear to the reader. Throughout In Cold Blood, Perry Smith is presented to the reader as a heartless and savage murderer, but during his confession, he says, ?I didn?t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat? (302), which makes the readers realize that it is not his savage nature that drives him to murder; it is Smith?s mental condition that does not allow him to feel that his actions are wrong. Along with being a journalistic and documentary piece of literature, In Cold Blood can also be classified as a detective story, because of all of the research and detective work that Capote, himself, did in order to write this extraordinary work, and because of all of the detective work incorporated into the plot. Al Dewey is the chief detective in solving the murders and figuring out the murderers. In actuality, Capote?s detective work and research on the Clutter murders parallels Al Dewey?s work in the non-fiction novel. The combination of the journalistic, documentary, and detective styles of writing in In Cold Blood is what makes this work brilliant and masterfully written. Through the use of these three styles of writing, Capote is able to present the factual account of the detective work on solving the murders; the events before, during, and after the murders; and personal accounts of all of the characters involved. This combination of styles not only presents all of the possible accounts of the murders, but it also presents the events as a story, such as a fictional novel would present its plot. The unification of journalistic, documentary, and detective styles of writing proves to compose an unsurpassed form of non-fiction.

Return to