Literary Analysis Essay on In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Published: 2021-07-02
649 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
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Truman Capote narrates events surrounding the death of four family members in a Kansas home. The Clutters were a likable family in Kansas who were viewed as an epitome of success and modesty by their neighbors. The Clutters were a respectable family who accorded inhabitants of their hometown job opportunities in their farm. The Clutters were rich, and they did not mind to share their wealth with their community members. Courtesy of In Cold Blood, Capote created a new genre of non-fictional writing that involves fictional elements. Capote uses his novelistic skills to bring about the vivid characterization of events surrounding the murder of four family members.

Life in rural America is revealed in the In Cold Blood. People in rural America live in close-knit families. There is a sense of communism in rural America where neighbors freely interact with each other with no impediment whatsoever. The Clutter family displays a sense of communism by employing members of their community in their farm. The Clutters' were of the idea that given that they were blessed, sharing their blessings with members of their community was a noble idea. However, the death of Herb Clutter disoriented the communal kind of life that was prevalent in Holcomb. After the death of the Clutters, residents of Holcomb started to treat each other with suspicion. The trust that had existed among residents of Holcomb subsided. Trust is a major ingredient for communal existence. Violation of trust disorients and shatters communism, instigating emergence of individualism. "It is the last sad irony of Herb Clutter that just a few years after his violent death, his way of life died too."

Religion is an important element in Holcombs residents way of life. Inhabitants of Holcomb respect religion. Holcomb residents are Christians, godly and their values are pegged on Christian teachings. Religion in Holcomb is a source of social cohesion. Almost all inhabitants of Holcomb town are church goers. The residents respect Sunday as a day of worship. On Sundays, the residents refrain from any form of work and dedicate the whole day to worship God for his goodness and favor upon their lives. A character by the name of Clarence Ewalt does not go to church, but he frequently takes his daughter to the Clutters so that the Clutters may go to church with her. As a matter of fact, residents of Holcomb view religion from a homogenous perspective. Mr. Clutter believes that it out of the question for her daughter who is a Methodist to marry a man who is a Catholic. Religion plays a major role in making individuals virtuous and well-behaved. Hickock and Smith are non-religious, and that is why they engage in socially deviant behaviors.

Criminality is a serious problem in America as revealed in the In Cold Blood. The Clutters are killed in cold blood by two criminals because the criminals believed that the Clutters had huge sums of money stacked in their family house. Despite the Clutters being a benevolent family, they suffer an unfortunate fate and die as victims of criminality. Criminality does not pay but brings about suffering, pain, and distrust. Residents of Holcomb suffer after the death of the Clutters because they have nowhere to turn to for jobs. Hickock and Smith, perpetrators of the murders, end up in prison where they are hanged to death after being found guilty by the criminal justice system for killing the Clutters. Criminality is mostly fuelled by opportunism and laziness. Hickock and Smith intrude Mr. Clutters home with an intention of stealing huge sums of money so that they may enrich themselves and begin new lives as affluent individuals. The criminals are lazy to work hard and ensure that they make their riches. Criminality and evil are intertwined. Smith believes that killing of the Clutters was not a necessarily evil act.

Work Cited

Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. Random House Inc, 2013. Print.

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