In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood: Retaining the Reader's Interest through Suspense and Tension

In modern literature, suspense and tension are almost essential in producing works that are both successful and interesting to the reader. These two aspects of literature are especially important in Truman Capote's novel, In Cold Blood, which delineates the story of how a mere robbery attempt concludes in the death of four well-respected and affable family members. Although the reader is cognizant of various outcomes in the story beforehand, Capote effectively retains the reader's interest through suspense and tension. Capote particularly engenders this suspense and tension by shifting between simultaneous events, waiting to disclose the details of the murder, and suggesting fallacies in America's judicial system.

Suspense proves to be an essential aspect to this novel, particularly in the way in which it proves to be a new plot mechanism. For example, one way Capote introduces suspense is through the short segments within each chapter. He constantly switches back and forth between Dick and Perry and the people in Holcomb, leaving the reader longing to discover what happens on both perspectives of the story. More importantly, he ends many of the segments with surprising and suspenseful actions and thoughts. For...

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