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Getting down to in cold blood essay

A well-known non-fiction book «In Cold Blood» originally published in The New Yorker made Truman Capote, the author, a millionaire and even a national celebrity. The writer was greatly fascinated by the mystery of a series of extremely brutal and unmotivated murders of a prosperous and respected Kansas farmer Herbert Clutter, his kids Kenyon and Nancy and his wife, Bonnie. The awful crime took place in 1959.

Encouraged by William Shawn, the editor of New Yorker, Capote followed the crime for years. For this purpose, he spent several years in Kansas, where he interviewed many people. The newly published novel enjoyed unprecedented interest due to some reasons. Sure, the first one was the sensational subject, but that wasn’t decisive. The matter is that it was Capote who invented a revolutionary new literary form – a nonfiction novel. Don’t forget to stress this crucial fact in your in cold blood essay.

Paz Enterprises/Columbia produced a movie adaptation of the novel in 1967. That adaptation was very close to the author’s original narrative design and his special interest in the psychological makeup of the criminals. Meanwhile, the movie lacks much of Capote’s close attention to the farmer’s family small-town life, instead focusing on the flight, trial, subsequent capture and execution of Smith and Hickock.

The movie version of In Cold Blood should be regarded as a sort of revision rather than experiment. That’s a typical representative of the earnest social problem movies of the 1950’s, mainly driven by an intriguing psychological explanation as well as liberal argument. That definitely needs to be mentioned in your in cold blood essay.

Despite the nomination for four major Academy Awards, the movie got none and then overshadowed in 1967 by a similar criminal story. Yes, that was Bonnie and Clyde.

How did it happen?

The bloody corpses of Bonnie, Herbert and their kids were discovered in their farmhouse, Holcomb, Kansas, on November 16, 1959. The head of the family, Herbert Clutter has a prosperous and prominent member of the local rural community and these gruesome murders shocked the entire neighborhood. At the first sight there wasn’t any apparent motive in that bloody crime. After a while, January unveiled two murderers. These were two parolees named Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Soon they were caught by the police.

Truman Capote simply read about that bloody Clutter massacre and made up his mind to write about this murder. Without delay we left for Kansas, where he tried to learn as much as he could about the crime, its victims, murderers as well as other details. Capote was bearing the story for up to five and a half years. He got much form the apprehension of the criminals, their trials, not to mention their execution. Capote conducted a series of extensive interviews with many people closely connected with the case. For that time he managed to accumulate up to six thousand pages of informative notes.

The result of all his wanderings, exploration and huge effort was the legendary book «In Cold Blood». Well, if you’re attentive enough you might have noticed we’ve just told above the author labeled it as a «nonfiction novel». By the way, this fact is often mentioned in many in cold blood essays. By the way, the author’s original title was «A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences». That masterpiece was firstly published in 1966, just less than nine months after both murderers, Hickock and Smith were executed. The given fact can be found in many in cold blood essay topics.

We’ve told above that the following year the nonfiction book was adapted for a movie by Richard Brooks. Capote’s novel became an enormous critical as well as commercial success, thus remaining on the best-seller list for a long time and providing inspiration to imitators and scholars, who found that new hybrid genre of narrative extremely promising. Do you consider it promising? Give a detailed answer in your in cold blood analysis essay.

As for the book’s composition, it starts by setting the stage on the bare, high plains of western Kansas. To some extent, that resembles the manner of a typical Greek tragedy. We’re given an opportunity to see crosscuts between the Clutters’ activities and those criminals approaching their home.

The book is divided into four major sections:

  • «The Last to See Them Alive»: deals with the terrible murder itself.
  • «Persons Unknown»: illustrates the extensive travelers of the criminals across the US and Mexico.
  • «Answer»: from this part we’ll learn how Hickock and Smith were arrested.
  • «The Corner»: That’s a sort of narrative coda. It summarizes the imprisonment, trial and execution of those killers.

Though the book shares many features with a typical nineteenth century naturalistic novel, the author managed to go beyond his fertile imagination. So, it’s a completely new stuff as a literary work.

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