In Cold Blood

What was the impact of the murders on the Holcomb community?

How did it change their life and perceptions on natural order of life

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Loss of Innocence/Undermining the American Dream

The Clutter killings are a turning point for the citizens of Holcomb and Garden City: for the first time, the dangerous wider world seems to threaten their peaceful existence, and their former naïveté gives way to feelings of doubt, fear and suspicion. According to Capote, it is the first time the citizens of this part of Kansas have had to endure the “unique experience of distrusting each other” (88). Their version of the American dream – of safety, security, and the ability to determine their own fate – becomes undermined, if not entirely thwarted, by the victimization of the Clutters. Their view of the world must suddenly include another kind of person, a poor, embittered, “rootless” person, for whom this dream was never an option in the first place.