How does Capote's use of stream of consciousness impact In Cold Blood?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Capote's use of stream of consciousness style is most evident in his descriptions of Perry and Dick (the murderers).  One of the major appeals of In Cold Blood at the time it was published and one of the reasons it has endured is because of Capote's choice and ability to get inside the criminals' heads.  When Capote includes Perry's train of thought or Dick's motivation, he does so often through stream of consciousness.  While other true crime writers attempt to use the technique in the same way that Capote did, few are successful, because they are unable to immerse themselves as Capote did in the case, the trial, and the criminals' lives.  Capote's sympathy for Perry especially shows through in the book--almost as if Capote is trying to reason for Perry and gain understanding for Perry's actions from his readers.

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In Cold Blood

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