How do the narrative voice and the sentence structure of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood change when the story shifts from descriptions of the Clutter family to those of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith?

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Truman Capote employs two very different writing approaches when describing the Clutter family, who are the innocent victims of Dick and Perry, and when describing Dick and Perry, the perpetrators of the horrific murders.

Capote emphasizes the innocence of the Clutter family by describing their home poetically:

The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of Western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call 'out there.'

The descriptive nature of Capote's language in this long, evocative sentence creates a picture in the reader's mind of a lonely and isolated place, one that may not provide protection to the residents of Holcomb. The natural environment is wholesome and unadulterated, which implies a trusting innocence about the Clutters, who choose to live in such a simple landscape despite its isolation.

In contrast, Capote employs shorter phrases, strung together in a punchy style, to describe the two criminals, Dick and Perry. This sentence is long and conversational,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 677 words.)

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