A summary of Analysis in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Learn exactly what in cold blood analysis essay in this chapter, scene, or section of In Cold Blood and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
He wanted to write a “nonfiction novel. He felt that he was one of the rare creative people who actually took journalism seriously. First, Capote has to make choices about the structure of the book. Capote chose a starting and ending point, and in between he choose the order and subject matter of the chapters.
In the first section, “The Last to See Them Alive,” chapters on the activities of the Clutter family alternate with chapters on the preparations for murder being made by Hickock and Smith. Reading about Nancy Clutter baking a pie and then reading about the killers’ tattoos creates a montage, contrasting subsequent images to create a specific impression. No newspaper article would have such a creative structure. January 1966, Hickock and Smith had been dead for less than a year. The murder and trial had garnered big headlines, and many readers probably knew the details of the novel before they began reading it.
Capote had to make it interesting even to people who knew the outcome–the book had to be good literature as well as be informative and accurate. The novel is saturated with details that would never have been included in a newspaper. Moreover, the details are carefully picked. Knowing that Capote compiled 8,000 pages of research, the book seems to be a very carefully edited selection of facts and descriptions. For example, very little is said about the two older Clutter daughters, although Capote doubtless interviewed them. He left them out for artistic reasons.
This shows that the facts of the Clutter case were the building blocks for what was ultimately a creative work. In arranging the facts of the Clutter case into a novel, Capote gave them a number of meanings. Not only are some of Capote’s opinions apparent–as in the case of his opposition to the death penalty–but the novel itself has several major themes. First, it is a commentary on the American Dream.
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