In Cold Blood

by: Truman Capote

Suggested Essay Topics

Writing help Suggested Essay Topics

What does the crime reveal about the town of Holcomb? How does the gossip surrounding the murders reflect underlying truths about the town?

Does In Cold Blood have a protagonist? Is it Herb Clutter? Dewey? Perry? Explain.

Why did Capote leave out descriptions of the two older Clutter sisters? Did the narrative benefit from this exlusion?

What role does "dreaming" play in the novel, both figuratively and literally? Think of Perry's dream of the parrot and of finding gold in Mexico, and of Dewey's nightmares. How reliable is what Capote tells us about these dreams?

How is montage used in In Cold Blood? In other words, how does the back- and-forth description of events in Holcomb and events surrounding Dick and Perry make the novel more vivid?

In what ways does Capote reveal the nature of his research through the construction of the book? Is it important that Capote himself is never named? Does his absence endanger the credibility of the narrative? Think of the Heisenberg Principle.

Is In Cold Blood a creative work? Is it more than journalism? Why or why not?