In Cold Blood

940 Words4 Pages
In Cold Blood: The Classic Tragedy In Aristotle’s Poetics, he describes the common characteristics of tragedies. In Cold Blood has similar qualities that make it fit the criteria of being a classic tragedy. From the central characters— Mr. Clutter and Perry who are two tragic heroes, to the hero’s tragic flaw that leads to their undoing, and lastly with the downfall of the hero brings about a catharsis—or a purging of the emotions of pity and fear in the audience. The tragic hero is a common characteristic of the classic tragedy. Perry does not exactly fit into the criteria of someone in high social standing. I think that he could be classified as someone who has better than average morality. He has a fairly traumatic childhood but was still able to come out as normal as someone in that situation could be (raped by Marines, abused by parents, never loved by anyone). Mr. Clutter, on the other hand, is the ideal tragic hero because of his high social standing and has better than average morality. In the beginning of the book, Herb Clutter is associated with the Eisenhower administration as a member of the Federal Farm Credit Board and respected among many Midwestern agriculturalists. Later, he decides he wants to own his own property and starts River Valley Farm. He is look to as a powerful, prominent figure in his community, almost royal in some ways. Herb Clutter personifies the ideal man. He gets up early works hard all day, has time to spend with his family, goes to bed and starts the same routine all over again the next day. He starts with nothing and “pulled himself up by the bootstraps” and made a great living for himself and his family. Herb Clutter is living the American dream, but nothing is ever perfect. With the tragic hero comes their tragic flaw which is our next characteristic of a classic tragedy. Perry has a number of flaws that
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