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Mix of Journalism and Fiction in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

John Hollowell’s, critical analysis of Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood focuses on the way Capote used journalism and fiction to try and create a new form of writing (82-84).

First, Capote involves his reader. “This immediacy, this spellbinding ‘you-are-there’ effect, comes less from the sensational facts (which are underplayed) than from the ‘fictive’ techniques Capote employs” (Hollowell 82). Capote takes historical facts and brings in scenes, dialogue, and point of view to help draw the reader in (Hollowell 82).

Capote also took into consideration which parts of information to use by how dramatic of an appeal they had (Hollowell 82). His talent led him to figure out what would have the most significance and impact to make the story flow for the reader. “The conversations of close friends of the Clutters, of the chief detectives, and even of the killers themselves are powerfully rendered” (Hollowell 82).

In addition, Capote uses dialogue to advance his story and to bring about suspense. His use of point of view helps to manipulate the story line. The way Capote uses an omniscient narrator “promotes ‘objectivity’ and suggests, at the same time, a complex pattern of cause-and-effect relationships surrounding the crime” (Hollowell 83).

The narrator tries to present the facts and stay objective. When he attempts to explain events or adds a fraction of moral to the story, he immediately goes back to using simple narration. Hollowell states that Capote must have realized that through his narration still only one point of view was being presented (83). Even though events could be checked, “any attempt to write a narrative account implies establishing a ‘fiction’ that best fits the facts as they are known”…

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…k” (84). However, he failed to recognize that previous works by Stendhal, Dreiser, and Dostoevski also used similar techniques in true crime stories.

Overall, In Cold Blood gives an example of events of the sixties, such as meaningless crimes, senseless violence, social dislocations, and failure of the conventional morality (Hollowell 84). “Ultimately, Capote’s story of Perry and Dick and the Clutter family transcends the here and now, the merely local and particular that are hallmarks of journalism” (Hollowell 84). Hollowell states there is no way to deny that Capote made an extraordinary attempt at bringing together journalism and literature (84).

Works Cited

Hollowell, John. “Truman Capote’s ‘Nonfiction Novel.’ Fact and Fiction: The New Journalism and the Nonfiction Novel.”

Contemporary Literary Criticism 19 (1981): 82-84.

Essay on the Gods in Euripides’ Medea


Medea has just killed four people which are Creon the king of Corinth, the princess whom Jason is in love with, and her two little children. Jason then prays to gods, especially Zeus, father of all gods, to punish Medea for her crimes. From the context of the quote, the chorus is addressing the audience about the unexpected and unbelievable end of the play. Medea then gets away to Athens with a chariot lent to her by Helios, the sun god and her grandfather.

Euripides always uses this kind of conclusion to end most of his works. Euripides suggests that the general theme of the quote is gods are not like what we think they are supposed to be. In other words, we can not expect much from the gods. Instead, we have to handle our matters on our own. The phrase, “Many are the Fates which Zeus in Olympus dispenses,” tells us that gods do not favor mortal people. Even if gods do help mortals, that’s only because those mortals have some kind of relationship with the gods. So, Euripides tells this story not in favor of the gods.

The general thems is gods are not as good as they are supposed to be.

Medea has been exiled for three times: from her home country near the Black Sea, from Jason’s homeland Iolchos, and now from the city of Corinth. We would naturally think that a woman like Medea, being exiled for many times, is the most vulnerable and most powerless woman. She has got no friend and no citizenship. At the time of Euripides, being an exile is not an interesting position that a person wants to be in. It is like a suicide. Most people at that time in Greece view strangers as barbarians with no intelligence at all. In addition, Medea is going to be an exile with two children. She is supposed to be in lots of trouble. On the other hand, Jason has won the princess of Corinth’s love. He is going to be Creon’s son-in-law. Jason abandon’s Medea after all she has done for him. Jason doesn’t fear Medea at all because he has support from Creon, king of Corinth. Jason is supposed to be more powerful than Medea. Jason is the son-in-law of the king and Medea is an exile. But, as Euripides suggests, what the audience expects doesn’t come true at all.

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