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Historical and Cultural Descriptions July 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 3:37 pm

“Nancy and her protégée, Jolene Katz, were also satisfied with their morning’s work.  For the longest while she stared at the blue ribbon winner, the oven hot cherries simmering under the crisp lattice crust, and then she was overcome, and hugging Nancy, asked, Honest, did I really make it myself?  Nancy laughed, returned the embrace, and assured her that she had-with a little help.”


The historical and cultural descriptions of rural life in the late 1950’s show the trust and innocence, but also the vulnerability of Kansas City.   This close knit community left their doors unlocked, knew their neighbors, and trusted strangers.  It is in this description that Truman Capote paints a picture of what life was like for the Clutter family.  The Clutter’s were a traditional family where the father worked, the mother stayed at home, and they had two children.  They lived healthy lives, looking down on drinking and smoking, and were law abiding people.  This description of baking pies embodies this simple, innocent life that Capote leaves you with as he builds the suspense for what is about to happen.


Nancy Clutter is perhaps the most tragic member of the Clutter family to be killed because she couldn’t imagine or understand in her innocent mind what Dick or Perry were about to do to their family.  I think Capote spotlighted Nancy, rather than her mom or her brother because of her innocence and sweetness in comparison to the criminals she will face.  His writing makes her human and not just a newspaper report.


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