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Truman Capote Presentation

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Emily Hendrix

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of Truman Capote Presentation

Truman Capote: New
Journalism in Postmodernism Events Leading up to Postmodernism WWI WWII The Great
Depression Weapons
Civil Rights
Political Issues Negative Positive leisure time Postmodernism Fragmentation*
"Truth" *
Sexuality Destruction of
family unit Characters-
"outcast" First-Person
POV* Ambiguous
ending Setting An overall "mood"
rather than specific
guidelines. New Journalism Mix of journalism and literature writers felt that newspapers
weren't truly expressing what
was going on during the time
In Cold Blood- one
of the first 1960s and 1970s Point of View First Person “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 I cut his throat,”
(Capote, In Cold Blood 244). "Truth" “I didn’t trust my voice to tell the news;
as soon as she came to the door,
her eyes squinty with sleep,
I thrust the letter at her,”
(Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s 52). “Since Capote's narrative method does not allow
the author to speak in his own, first-person voice,
Dewey acts as the central intelligence guiding
our integration of plot elements. The reader is
likely to identify with Dewey's viewpoint as she
identifies with Dewey's search for design, since
it will presumably create an explanatory framework
that will allow her to understand the bizarre murders,” (Hollowell). Imagery Expressed what
was going on during
the time period* What was going on
during the time period “Well, I took one look at Mr. Clutter, and it was hard to look again. I knew plain shooting couldn’t account for that much blood. And I wasn’t wrong. He’d been shot, all right, the same as Kenyon-with the gun held right in front of his face. But probably he was dead before he was shot. Or, anyway, dying. Because his throat had been cut, too. He was wearing striped pajamas-nothing else. His mouth was taped; the tape had been wound plumb around his head. His ankles were tied together, but not his hands-or, rather, he’d managed, God knows how, maybe in rage or pain, to break the cord binding his hands. He was sprawled in front of the furnace. On a big cardboard box that looked as though it had been laid there specially,” (Capote, In Cold Blood 64-65). “The room in which we stood
(we were standing because
there was nothing to sit on)
seemed as though it were
being just moved into; you
expected to smell wet paint.
Suitcases and unpacked crates
were the only furniture. The
crates served as tables. One
supported the mixings of a
martini; another a lamp, a
Libertyphone, Holly’s red
cat and a bowl of yellow roses.
Bookcases, covering one wall,
boasted a half-shelf of literature.
I warmed to the room at once, I
liked its fly-by-night look,”
(Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s 28-29) “In other parts of the book, Capote
uses yet another journalistic tool to
build his story - observation. By
visiting Holcomb, Kansas, and not
just reading about it, Capote was
able to paint a visual for his readers.”
(Plimpton). Characterization “He’d never broke down before, shown any sign of it. Well, I went to him. The door of his cell. He reached out his hand. He wanted me to hold his hand, and I did, I held his hand, and all he said was, ‘I’m embraced by shame.” I wanted to send for Father Goubeaux-I said first thing tomorrow I’d make him Spanish rice-but he just held my hand,” (Capote, In Cold Blood 308) fragmentation “The book is ultimately a condemnation of society's treatment of its children and its unwillingness to forgive those outside the boundaries of acceptable definition. Capote's portrayal of Smith as the victim of a self-righteous society reveals his own rejection of conformity and his identification with the antagonist anti-hero. Smith's primary fault, Capote believes, is not being a criminal, but attempting to change the path set by childhood trauma and familial abuse and defy the characterization of himself by others,” (Kim) “You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes…You can beat your brains out for her, and she’ll hand you horseshit on a platter. To give an example-who is she like you see her today? She’s strictly a girl you’ll read where she ends up at the bottom of a bottle of Seconals. I’ve seen it happen more times than you’ve got toes: and those kids, they weren’t even nuts. She’s nuts,” (Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) “Capote shows an
undeniable flair for
character, humor,
and virtue…” (Cash) New Journalism “’A stark image of the deep doubleness in American life,’ yet concluded that In Cold Blood suffered by comparison with other works which took their inspiration from reports of actual crimes but developed into true works of the imagination…” (Goad)
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