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Is the description of places and things and culture that surround characters and that...

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ja95 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 2, 2012 at 11:25 PM via web

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Is the description of places and things and culture that surround characters and that characters are involved in considered to be examples of the use of status details? In Cold Blood by Truman capote is a novel known to be written in the style of new journalism. A characteristic of new journalism is status details. My question: do status details pertain only to characters and their mannerisms, clothing, habits, etc. or can you say that the author uses status details to describe places and things and customs that the character is involved in? Are those things still considered status details? For example, in the beginning pages of the novel Capote describes mr.Clutter's house with details of its origin and the style of the home.

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Jen Sambdman | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted January 3, 2012 at 5:11 AM (Answer #1)

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I believe status implications can be derived from everything that you said. Think about the generalized affluent activities and customs that society implies. How many rich people coupon clip? How many impoverished people have access to the opera or theatre? By asking if Capote is painting a scene with the background of the house and the style, that is generally something that more well-to-do families are aware. Think about the plantations in the south, or a home decorated in modern or Victorian society, these are markers of a higher status in society and another necessarily trifles that the more common working family will focus on. When an author paints a character, he or she generally does so more carefully than even they are aware. When giving characters their traits, we take everything we know of an archetype in our mind and transfer it to paper.

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