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In Cold Blood By Truman Capote

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on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of In Cold Blood By Truman Capote

In Cold Blood By Truman Capote
Random Facts
Capote was openly homesexual in a time when it was socially acceptable among artists, but rarely talked about it.

He suffered from liver cancer.

Capote's early childhood was marked with neglect and painful insecurities that left him traumatized.

His stepfather adopted him and his name was official changed to Truman Garcia Capote in 1935.
The Family house
Perry and Dick
Truman's Education
Capote attended the Trinity School in New York City and than later on attended St. Joseph Military Academy.

Truman Capote
"land [that] is flat, the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them”(3).
Theme #1

Capote's writing first started at the age of eleven and he spent 3 hours after school everyday perfecting it, But most of his early stories were written when he was in his teens and early twenties. Collected In A Tree Of Night and Other Stories, showed the influence of Gothic writers such as Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), and William Faulkner (1897-1962). But the person that influenced him the most was his cousin Sook, who adopted him and whom he celebrated his writings with.
Theme #2
He wrestled for the time being, due to the fact he felt abandoned by his parents. Until he turned to writing for comfort.
Since he did not do good in school with the struggles of his family issues, he repeated 12th grade and later on dropped out at the age of seventeen and got a job with The New York Magazine.
"The Garden City representative of New York Life Insurance smiled as he watched Mr.Clutter uncap a Parker pen and open a checkbook" (46).
"...An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." (142)
"But one can... But as he.... But I was... But I wasn't.." (122)
"After the rain or when snowfall thaw, the streets, unnamed, unshaded, unpaved, turn from the thickest dust in the direst mud."(3)
"The sound of Dick's voice was like an injection of some potent narcotic, a drug that, invading his veins, produced a delirium of colliding sensations: tension and relief, fury and affection"(194).

"Then touching the brim of his cap, he headed for home and the day's work, unaware that it would be his last"(13).

Clutter Family
Good Review #2
Truman and Perry
Good Review #1
Nailah Shaw
The madness In Cold Blood revolves around Perry and Dick who are mentally ill, and to see if this was what made them do what they did. Their thinking is definitely pretty twisted, but they seem to understand the plans of the murders and their escape.
Capote describes Holcomb and how the herds of cattle and the white clusters gives off imagery of how the town is really like. The use of this is so that it affects the style of writing and gives details of the scenery. Which allows the reader to visualize the scenery through the eyes of Capote.
This quote is about when Perry has been waiting for Dick Hickock, he starts to feel nervous as soon as he arrives. This creates a very detailed style dealing with the use of drugs that effects Dick's voice on Perry.
Capote describes how Mr.Clutter is putting down a large portion of money for life insurance only hours before the Clutter family is going to get murdered. Which he already claimed before that they were going to die, but to keep the readers interest in the irony of it all with Capote's clear choices in describing their final hours of the family's life.
This quote that Capote wrote is showing that if you believe if someone does something wrong, that person deserves the same punishment as what was being done.
When Capote describes Herbert Clutters day he is telling his readers about his last day of work when he comes home exhausted. Rather than using other words to show a bad action that is about to take place.
This quote is a repetition that shows hesitation through the speakers voice. Which is the voice of Perry. When one is accused of committing a crime, their natural instinct is to avoid the situation that is taking place.
Critical Article #1
" In Cold Blood" is remarkable for its objectivity--nowhere, despite his involvement, does the author intrude. In the following interview, done a few weeks ago, Truman Capote presents his own views on the case, its principals, and in particular he discusses the new literary art form which he calls the nonfiction novel...
-By George Plimpton
Criticle Article #2
Use Of Style In Cold Blood
The book was written to where it had a startling effect in places, given that it is about a murder of the Clutter family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs.Clutter and their two children, Kenyon and Nancy, that lead to the events of the killers to murder. The family was living in Holcomb, Kansas, and in November of 1959, they were executed by Perry Hickock and Dick Smith. They were later discovered with only a few items missing. Capote read about the case in New York Time Magazine before the killers were caught. It gave the readers facts about the population and history of the people who live there. We learn how many murder cases Dewey worked on and the places Perry and Dick lived/jobs were held. Which made it easy to feel like we were there as well , that lead to the style of the novel being factual.
Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood is a riveting, finely written psychological/literary analysis, combined with meticulous historical research, by a Kansas native. Ralph Voss’s subject is the context, creation, and impact of Capote’s book. Voss’s approach is an honest investigation into the very processes of investigation—by law enforcement in Kansas and by Capote the writer—as well as the creative processes of those influenced by In Cold Blood to contribute to American popular culture.” —Claudia Durst Johnson, author Understanding To Kill A Mockingbird: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historic Documents
Where is the title mentioned?
Parr said, "Many a man can match sob stories with that little bastard. Me included. Maybe I drink too much, but i sure as hell never killed four people
in cold blood.
-Do you think the author intrudes?
Truman Capote is known for developing "New Journalism," a style of writing that was a cross between journalism and literature.
-By James Bass
Is his style considered journalism?
This quote demonstrates a sad and depressing tone. By using the words "unnamed", "unshaded" , and "unpaved" all create a negative emotion behind it.
The first person to make of this quote was from the Code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi was King of Babylon, 1792-1750BC. The code survives today in the Akkadian language. Used in the Bible, Matthew 5:38 (King James Version):

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

The women and femininity of Holcomb in the 1950s played the same sex role and expectations as men. They were traditionally homemakers and mothers. But many of the women In Cold Blood have that freedom to pursue their careers as well as their household responsibilities. Marie Dewey is a model housewife that makes sure her house is spotless for when Alvin comes home from a stressful day at work dealing with the murder cases. But Bonnie Clutter at the opposite end seems to fail at it because she can't perform her house duties dealing with her illness (doctor said it was a "pinched nerve")

"There's got to be something wrong with somebody who'd do a thing like that." This is Perry Edward Smith, talking about himself. "Deal me out, baby... I'm a normal." This is Richard Eugene Hickock, talking about himself. They're as sick a pair as Leopold and Loeb and together they killed a mother, a father, a pretty seventeen year old and her brother, none of whom they'd seen before, in cold blood. A couple of days before they had bought a 100 foot rope to garrote them--enough for ten people if necessary. This small pogrom took place in Holcomb, Kansas, a lonesome town on a flat, limitless landscape: a depot, a store, a cafe, two filling stations, 270 inhabitants. The natives refer to it as "out there." It occurred in 1959 and Capote has spent five years, almost all of the time which has since elapsed, in following up this crime which made no sense, had no motive, left few clues--just a footprint and a remembered conversation. Capote's alternating dossier Shifts from the victims, the Clutter family, to the boy who had loved Nancy Clutter, and her best friend, to the neighbors, and to the recently paroled perpetrators: Perry, with a stunted child's legs and a changeling's face, and Dick, who had one squinting eye but a "smile that works." They had been cellmates at the Kansas State Penitentiary where another prisoner had told them about the Clutters--he'd hired out once on Mr. Clutter's farm and thought that Mr. Clutter was perhaps rich. And this is the lead which finally broke the case after Perry and Dick had drifted down to Mexico, back to the midwest, been seen in Kansas City, and were finally picked up in Las Vegas. The last, even more terrible chapters, deal with their confessions, the law man who wanted to see them hanged, back to back, the trial begun in 1960, the post-ponements of the execution, and finally the walk to "The Corner" and Perry's soft-spoken words--"It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even inappropriate. But I do. I apologize." It's a magnificent job--this American tragedy--with the incomparable Capote touches throughout. There may never have been a perfect crime, but if there ever has been a perfect reconstruction of one, surely this must be it.
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