In Cold Blood


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In cold blood is a novel written by Truman Capote. The book analyzes the cruel murder of Herbert clutter. Herbert clutter was a rich farmer who lived in Holcomb in Kansas. When capote heard about the murder, he decided to travel to Kansas to write a story about the crime before the suspects were arrested. The author interviewed people who lived in the area to get more information about the person killed and the crime. The suspects were Richard Dick Hickock and Perry smith. The suspects were arrested a few hours after the murder. The author has integrated fictional and non fictional content to help convey the story to the reader. This paper analyzes how the author used fiction to convey the message to the reader and make things real.


Herbert clutter was a Methodist and a respect person who has developed a successful farm. Clutter employed almost 18 farm workers. Most of the employees who retired from the farm admired him and also respect him as he treated his workers well. He also paid the workers enough money.  Clutter was murdered on 15th November by ex criminals from Kansas state penitentiary who had been released on parole. The criminals had received information about clutters safe in the farmhouse. Clutter kept his money on the safe. After knowing the information Hickok communicated with smith who agreed to commit the crime with him. Hickok planned well how to use the money before committing the crime. He planned to get the money and start a new life in Mexico. The information provided to the criminals was not true as the farmer did not keep any money in the safe. The farmer carried out his transactions using a cheque. On November 14, 1959, the criminals drove to Clutters house, but they did not find the money. The criminals instead cut clutters throat and shot him on the head. After that the criminals murdered the family members (Capote, 2006).

The author has used both fictional and non fictional content to convey message to the audience. Though the events in the story are real, the author uses fictional to help the reader comprehend the book. In non fictional, the author represents the narrative as a fact. The information provided can represent the subject being discussed as true or false. The author has used non fictional throughout the book. First, the author uses non fictional to make the events in the novel appear more vivid so as to connect the audience with emotional, logical and ethical aspects evidenced in the novel.

For instance, the author uses non fictional as he allows the audience to know the victims and the murders. This helps the reader connect well and also attract the readers attention as the author makes questions and think about the events. For example, the author has named the two suspects and explained how they planned the crime as stated above. He has also identified those who were involved in the murder. That is clutter and his family. Moreover, the author has stated the reason the criminals committed the crime. For example, Hickock wanted to commit the crime so as to get money and live in Mexico (Capote, 2006).

The author has also used fiction to help the reader understand the content. He uses various styles like suspense, imagery to help portray the characters of the suspects. The author uses a detailed language to explain the questions and help the audience understand the content and the events in the story. This makes the reader want to know more about the events happening in the story (Capote, 2006).

The author has used irony to help the reader understand the clutter family. He uses fiction to bring each irony in the story into reality. The clutter family is ironically described as it is presented as ordinary beings. For instance, Mrs. Clutter is described as a duck out of water within her own family. The author has made her unique unlike her husband and children. The husband and children are presented as too perfect which is not possible in reality. In addition, Perry is ironically described. He is a kind soft hearted person and educated. He is able to differentiate what is wrong and right, but he commits the crime and makes clutter suffers because of him. Perrys childhood was disorganized and lonely and this affected him.

Perrys criminal records are an expansion of the environment he grew up and how it affected him badly. On the other hand, Dick has a diabolical mind and he finds it hard to commit the crime, though he was determined at first to do so. He appears to be cruel and determined to commit crime, but he is not harmful as he seems in the story. He is also brave and was jailed twice for bad checks. The character has used ironic traits to help one understand the characters. Hence, the characters have conflicting traits (Capote, 2006).

Like fictional novel, the novel has some suspense. The author uses suspense throughout the novel to attract attention of the reader. For instance, the author shows suspension when the killers arrive in the town and clutter continues with his daily activities. This made to help the reader answer the questions developed by the author. The author shifts from one scene to another. The reader is aware that clutter is going to die, but he is not aware and continues with his job. The author shows how ironical it is the clutters do not know whether he will die at the end of each scene. For instance, the author states that this will be their last day, their last apple pie (Capote, 2006).

Further, though the story being conveyed is true, the author uses description to convey the message. The author forgoes the murder scene at some point and returns when the murders confess. In this case, the author includes the description of what transpired. The author does not include the description of the killers at first so as to allow the audience discovers the murders. The reader does not know how the murder happened. This is because the author does not include any information about the murder in the book. This is to encourage the audience to guess what might have happened. Also, the author does not reveal the reason, the murders murdered Clutter and his family, but it is revealed after the murders confess (Capote, 2006).


Though the story in the book is really, the author uses fiction and non fiction elements to attain historic accuracy. The author uses fictional element to clarify things. For instance, the author uses suspense to enable the reader determines what will happen later. He also uses description and iron to show conflict in character. The features make the work fictional.


Capote,T.(2006).In Cold Blood.Transaction Publishers

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