In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, briefly analyze the effect of alternating points of views for each section.
In his efforts to present the narrative of In Cold Blood in a journalistic style that recreates the setting and the persons involved, apparently without bias, Truman Capote uses an omniscient narrator who moves back and forth from the perspectives of the Clutters to that of Dick and Perry. This technique keeps the reader aware of what happens with both parties at the same time while also emphasizing important events. This method also works towards the convergence of the two perspectives which then creates a suspenseful tension. As written in a review in Time magazine,
Capote has thrust the act of violence before the reader as if it were happening before his very eyes.
In a sense, the reader, then, becomes a juror as he/she must put together the circumstances, the characters parts in this tragedy, and the motivations behind the actions of Hickock and Smith, and then follow the trial in its chilling details. For instance, in Part IV, one chapter describes the young girls, Nancy Ewalt and Susan Kidwell's testimony about what they saw upon entering the Clutter house on Sunday, November 15, 1959. Then, Richard G. Rohleder takes the stand.
Rohleder is chief Investigator of the Garden City Police Department. His hobby is photography, and he is good at it. It was Rohledler who took the pictures that...revealed Hickock's dusty footprints in the clutter cellar....But Hickock's attorney objected: "The sole reason the pictures are being introduced is to prejudice and inflame the minds of the jurors."
The vacillating perspectives in Capote's novel provides the reader with an almost three-dimensional perspective. Indeed, this method of bringing into view the differing perspectives creates a balance of knowledge, creates suspense, and attains a certain sense of the present in the mind of the reader.