In Cold Blood

A Lurid Falsification 11th Grade

In the 1950's and 1960's, the concept of the nuclear family was a personification of the American dream, the illusion of the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect children, all living in a model community. With four staccato shotgun blasts, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood all but irreversibly cracks that quintessential familial mold, sending it on a journey of misguidance, sympathy and greed that Dick and Perry were responsible for. For many, however, their thoughts of the “perfect score” and the subsequent manhunt and trial were adulterated with the grimy hands of the author’s puppeteering and personal bias. Every action in the story was manipulated for his true endgame, to create a tantalizing atmosphere out of a macabre act. For all of its realistic re-creation of dialogue and alternation of arcs to slowly interweave the two plots together, Capote falters in ultimately creating the book’s fictionalized true-to-life atmosphere, the consequence of his failure to separate the intimate aspects of his writing from the set facts of the events that have transpired.

The “nonfiction novel” that Capote introduces to the literary canon successfully creates a layered plot that effectively evokes both conflicted feelings for the...

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