In Cold Blood

To what extent does Capote seem concerned with reporting the facts versus telling a story?

 How compatible do those two tasks seem in determining the purpose of this work?

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In Cold Blood is considered an example of “New Journalism,” a genre that was pioneered in the 1960s and 70s by Capote as well as Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joan Didion, among others. (Capote, however, disliked this branding, referring instead to his work as a “nonfiction novel.”) The New Journalists were the first to employ literary techniques – or techniques adapted from fiction writing – to present their nonfiction narratives. The result was a new brand of in-depth, novelistic coverage of real-world events, presented from the perspective of individuals experiencing them firsthand (including the writer him/herself, who carried out extensive field research in order to capture the complete picture of events).

There is no question that Capote utilized dramatic license in presenting the thoughts of the murderers. It may be easier to sympathize with them than it might have otherwise. It is quite obvious that Capote does not judge the two killers as harshly as one might expect. Whether or not one can say he actually likes them or not may be difficult, but there is certainly an attempt being made to present them as human beings instead of bloodthirsty animals. Although many readers may be repelled by this idea, it does serve the purpose of pointing out that killing them in effect renders the state somewhat inhumane. In my opinion, Capote was more concerned with the stroytelling than the facts.