In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 3256 times

1. What is the significance of the title? This novel is about the murder of the Clutters. The murderers, Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene Hickock, apparently had no motive, except for the fact that they wanted money. A former cellmate of Hickock's, Floyd Wells, testified to have told Hickock that there was a safe in the Clutter house containing a large sum of money. He also testified to have given Hickock a description of the house and a floor plan. Hickock was said to have described to Wells the details of how he planned to rob and murder the family. The fact that the family was murdered only for money and that the murderers bore no guilt upon themselves verifies that the murder was done cold-heartedly.

Newsman Richard Parr of the Kansas City Star, one of the many spectators at Smith and Hickock's trail said, "Many a man can match a sob story with [Perry Smith].

Me included. Maybe I drink too much, but I sure"¦never killed four people in cold blood."� Another young reporter from Oklahoma said, "Yeah, and how about hanging [Perry Smith]? That's pretty"¦cold-blooded too."� 2. What is another title possibility? Why? The Perfect Murder of the Perfect Family (Almost) could be another title possibility because it can portray a few parts of this novel, the first being the Clutters. The Clutters were described as good, wholesome people. No one had any reason to dislike them. They portrayed the perfect family of that time period. The murder of the Clutters was perfect, almost. The only evidence left by the murderers were two shoe prints, one of which was made by blood. However, word of the murder spread throughout the country and a Wells notified the investigators of his conversations with Hickock about the murder plans.

3. Reread the first page of your book. What does the author do to try to capture the interest of readers and make them want to read his/her book? The first page of In Cold Blood sets up the setting and tone of the book. It is conveyed as a lonesome and unguarded town that is "out there."� The author pulls the reader into the book by intriguing them further mystery and importance of the town of Holcomb.

4. From your novel, copy one passage that has meaning for you. Why did you select this passage? "My acquaintances are many, my friends are few; those who really know me still fewer."� I believe this passage pertains to me. I do not have many friends who I can relate to or share my feelings with. My conversations with most of my friends are school-related. A simply "hello"� and "goodbye"� is the conversation with a large group of my friends.