Mix Of Journalism And Fiction In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

790 words - 3 pages

John Hollowell's, critical analysis of Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood focuses on the way Capote used journalism and fiction to try and create a new form of writing (82-84).

First, Capote involves his reader. "This immediacy, this spellbinding 'you-are-there' effect, comes less from the sensational facts (which are underplayed) than from the 'fictive' techniques Capote employs" (Hollowell 82). Capote takes historical facts and brings in scenes, dialogue, and point of view to help draw the reader in (Hollowell 82).

Capote also took into consideration which parts of information to use by how dramatic of an appeal they had (Hollowell 82). His talent led him to figure out what would have the most significance and impact to make the story flow for the reader. "The conversations of close friends of the Clutters, of the chief detectives, and even of the killers themselves are powerfully rendered" (Hollowell 82).

 

In addition, Capote uses dialogue to advance his story and to bring about suspense. His use of point of view helps to manipulate the story line. The way Capote uses an omniscient narrator "promotes 'objectivity' and suggests, at the same time, a complex pattern of cause-and-effect relationships surrounding the crime" (Hollowell 83).

 

The narrator tries to present the facts and stay objective. When he attempts to explain events or adds a fraction of moral to the story, he immediately goes back to using simple narration. Hollowell states that Capote must have realized that through his narration still only one point of view was being presented (83). Even though events could be checked, "any attempt to write a narrative account implies establishing a 'fiction' that best fits the facts as they are known" (Hollowell 83).

 

Furthermore, Hollowell states that the character of Perry Smith is "Capote's greatest accomplishment" (83). Smith's portrayal if analyzed in detail will encompass all of the aspects that Capote uses to create literature rather than journalism. Smith's dialogue and scenes are the major ways Capote meshes a real person into literature (Hollowell 83).

 

Capote creates sympathy for Smith in the reader by comparing him to a wounded animal, a creature who is not able to be responsible for his actions, an outcast from society, and a "psychic cripple" (Hollowell 83). These character traits are added to the book to advance the dramatic heightening. Both killers are given sympathy and are treated as...

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