In Cold Blood American Beauty Analysis

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“American Beauty” Truman Capote‟s novel In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences (1965), describes in detail the slaughter of a preeminent Kansas family, the Clutters, by a pair of emotionally abnormal and socially excluded criminals. Emphasizing the effects of the crime on their community, Capote recounts the enormous distrust that the murder initiated among the usually cordial and friendly citizens of Holcomb and Garden City, rural communities of southwest Kansas. In contrast to this distrust, the ex-convicts, Richard “Dick” Hickock and Perry Smith, move on with their chaotic and lawless lives, without expressing remorse. While Perry constantly contemplates his actions, Dick only ponders on the crime after…show more content…
Clutter, Herb‟s wife, Bonnie Fox, the woman who seemed to have everything, was in fact a lifeless creature. As Capote recounts Bonnie‟s life, he explains that she commonly experienced “inexplicable despondency- seizure of grief that sent her wandering from room to room in a hand-wringing daze” (Capote 27), indicating that something was wrong with her. When Capote describes Mrs. Fox‟s room, “the room she so seldom left was austere; had the bed been made, a visitor might have thought it permanently unoccupied” (Capote 29), it becomes evident that Bonnie is an unhappy woman despite her material wealth and apparently perfect family. Contradicting the view that the community had of her, Bonnie serves as another example of the hypocrisy that influences American…show more content…
Despite appearing to be the perfect family, the Clutters were actually dysfunctional and superficial. Similar to their victims, Dick and Perry pretended to be persons they weren‟t in order to satisfy their own views of society‟s expectation of themselves. Finally, the arrest procedure and the trial were farces since Dick and Perry had most of their rights negated. As Capote comments in the novel, the Clutters assassination only happened due to the chemistry— Dick‟s and Perry‟s need to satisfy what they thought society expected from them— between the killers. Just as in the movie “American Beauty,” this chemistry was lethal. Works

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