Jessica Higgins Dr. Patricia Perea English 101 December 11, 2012 “In Cold Blood”, by Truman Capote In his nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood, the author, Truman Capote, has focused more on the murderer’s motive behind the act, instead of searching for who the murderer was…
The way Capote places the murder facts in order, and the way he manipulates with the starting and ending of the novel, is what makes this novel unique. This paper gives a literary analysis of the novel, while describing the events at the same time. Capote has made the beginning very interesting by hiding the reasons Perry and Dick were driving to Holcomb, Kansas. Floyd Wells, in the Kansas State Penitentiary, was listening to the radio news about the Clutter murders. The bodies had been discovered by one of Nancy’s friends who went to the Clutters’ house to check why they had not yet got prepared for church. She had found an eerie silence inside the house and shockingly discovered the four bodies in different parts of the house. Capote has told the reader about the Clutters’ death before depicting the actual scene, which increases the reader’s interest. The murders depict that the society is no more peaceful, and innocence has been betrayed in the hands of criminals. Class difference is also shown, where high class citizens of Holcomb were threatened by low class criminals. However, the reader finds it exciting that Floyd was shocked to hear the news because he had been acquainted with the Clutters for many years. He remembered Clutter as his boss, and Kenyon and Nancy as cute little kids. Now, he held himself responsible for the murders of four innocent lives because he was the one who told his cellmate, Dick Hickock, about Clutter’s safe. He had told him that he once worked with a wealthy man named Herb Clutter, who owned a farm at Holcomb, and kept large amount of cash at a safe at his home. Readers come to know that guilt made Floyd talk to the authorities about Dick. He confessed, and Dewey took his team for Dick’s search, when Dick and Perry were hitchhiking in some desert. Capote has described the life summaries of the criminals, to let the readers know about the bad times they had been through. Dick and Perry had tried to steal a car but had failed. Finally, they succeeded in stealing a car, and went to the Kansas City. They stayed in Miami, but when they were heading towards Las Vegas, they were recognized by a policewoman through their license plate number. Both of them were caught, and initially were questioned about some parole violation some days back which they admitted to. Readers assume that they were not being caught for robbery that they had committed. But, the police told Dick and Perry the real reason of their arrest, and they were caught off guard when told that they were accused of brutal homicide of four innocent people in an attempt of blotch robbery. When Perry realized that Dick had confessed, he said, “I always knew if we ever got caught, if Dick ever really let fly, dropped his guts all over the goddam floor—I knew he’d tell about the nigger” (232). Readers find one thing very interesting. When Dick and Perry were being brought to the jail, the authorities thought that the crowd would be violent, but they were surprised to see that “when the crowd caught sight of the murderers, with their escort of blue-coated highway patrol-men, it fell silent, as though amazed to find them humanly shaped” (248). They were then taken to the opposite sides of the jail, and brought to trial. They were shown the evidence of the case which included Floyd’s testimony and footprints found in Clutter’s house. Initially Dick blamed Perry for all the murders, and said that he could not stop him, but finally confessed about the murders while ...
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