In Cold Blood Questions and Answers
by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood book cover
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From what point of view is In Cold Blood written? How does the type of narration affect how the book is read?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Cold Blood tells the cold-blooded story of two cold-blooded killers in a rather cold-blooded way, thanks to the omniscient third-person narration. In Capote's hands, this style of writing is practically journalistic, creating distance between the reader and the horror of the events and descriptions on the page. This distance is significant because it enables the reader to engage with one of the killers in an unexpectedly sympathetic way. Capote's treatment of Perry Smith is warmer than his depiction of Dick Hickock, but this warmth is not immediately obvious to the reader, thanks to the voice of the omniscient narrator; the distance allows the warmth to surprise some readers, leaving them to wonder after reading the book if they, themselves, are so cold-blooded as to sympathize with a killer like Perry Smith.

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In Cold Blood expertly moves between first person and third person omniscient, choices that Truman Capote made based on the way certain information needed to be conveyed.

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Further Reading:

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