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Personal Commentary on In Cold Blood Essay


When I found out that we were reading In Cold Blood, the title sounded interesting and when I bought the book and read the back cover it sounded like a story I probably would like. Then my parents told me that it was a classic and it made me want to read it even more. So when I sat down and started reading it, my opinion began to change. For about the first 100 pages the details were so overwhelming that I had to force myself to keep reading. At one point in the story, (discovery of the bodies to be exact) was kind of gruesome for me. That part, along with a few others, were hard to read because of all the details. Then at parts, most of the details seemed unnecessary. There were parts when I thought to myself, Why do I need to know this? parts like that are when I wanted to put the book down and stab myself with a pencil. Such as when he described the Political and Religious Makeup of Holcomb, that was when I sat there with a dumb expression wondering why I needed to know this. Then as I got further into the story, it became apparent to me why those facts that I thought were dumb came into play and were part of the bigger picture. By the last chapter, most of the details came together and in a much larger picture; help bring Hickock and Smith to justice.

Through the story, Hickock and Smiths stories were told. At some points I started to feel sympathy for Smith. Since his whole family was hurt by tragedy it was hard at points to understand why he did this to the Clutters. Hickock, on the other hand, was a lunatic and I dont see why he was let out of prison and I had no sympathy for him at all. With the characters in Holcomb, like the teachers, the family friends, then with the judge and lawyers, each person had something unique to them. I know that since these are real people that Capote could not have given too much else to these people but, the way he describes them, and the way he tells their individual stories makes this real event even harder to comprehend. I thought to myself, Why would Hickock and Smith do something like this, to a family like this? For what? Forty dollars? It made the event even harder the bare.

The plot was hard for me to understand. At first I couldnt distinguish the rising action and climax apart from each other and it was hard to figure out the most eventful part. Then I came to the self-conclusion that the trial was the climax because of all the news, and reporters, and in general people around them. The story ended the way it should have. The death of Hickock and Smith was exactly what should have happened.

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