In Cold Blood Introduction - Fort Thomas Independent Schools

In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
AP Language & Composition
Learning Targets:
Students will…
• develop greater awareness of authors’
intentions and
• Analyze how writers use their language
choices to influence readers
• Understand and engage in academic
• Understand effects of literature on societal
and global communities
• Argumentation (whoa)
In Cold Blood
AP Language & Composition
A New Genre
•Creative nonfiction
– (written like a novel but true)
•Melding journalistic nonfiction
with imaginative writing
– Why is this highly controversial?
•Capote takes readers exactly where he
wants them to go
“I wanted to produce a
journalistic novel, something
on a large scale that would
have the credibility of fact, the
immediacy of film, the depth
and freedom of prose, and the
precision of poetry.”
Essential Question:
The tone of the book reveals the author's
attitude toward his subject
matter. Capote intended In Cold
Blood to be both objective (nonjudgmental) and sympathetic. Is this
About Truman Capote:
Context for Writing
• Born in 1925; died in 1984
• Felt abandoned by parents
• Friends with Harper Lee (Dill)
• Deep connection to the south
• Elitist in Manhattan, NY
About Truman Capote:
Context for Writing
• Not a great student, but avid writer
– Considered himself one, didn’t want to be one
• While repeating senior year, got job as a
copy boy for the magazine he idolized.
– The New Yorker's working environment was
quite the opposite of the high society image the
magazine portrayed.
• Truman, a flamboyant, eccentric, and very noticeable
boy, stood out
– Meeting Truman
First learned about the murders
Capote first• learned
through an article in the New
murders through
an article in
York Times
the New York Times
• “Then one morning in
November, 1959, while flicking
through The New York Times,
I encountered on a deep-inside
page, this headline: ‘Wealthy
Farmer, 3 of Family Slain’…It
suddenly struck me that a
crime, the study of one such,
might provide the broad scope
I needed to write the kind of
book I wanted to write.”
He spent 6 years on icb.
The road to the Clutter home
The village of Holcomb stands on the
high wheat plains of western Kansas, a
lonesome area that other Kansans call
“out there.”
Clutter Family Home (as it stands today)
The Victims and the Murderers
The Clutter Family
Herb Clutter
• Head of the Clutter
• Well-liked, respected
member of the Holcomb
• Fairly prosperous
Bonnie Clutter
• Wife of Herb
• Mother of four
• A recluse
Nancy Clutter
 Daughter of Herb
and Bonnie
 Well-liked and
 Bright, energetic,
 Dating Bobby Rupp
Kenyon Clutter
 Son of Herb and
Bonnie Clutter
 Quiet and
 Enjoys working
with his hands
 Fifteen years old
The Murderers
Perry Smith
•Sentenced to
Kansas State
•Met Dick
Hickock in jail
Dick Hickock
•Inmate in Kansas
State Penitentiary
•Friend of Perry
•Learned of Clutter
family from fellow
inmate Floyd Wells
Revisiting the Scene, meeting characters
A Copy of the Case File
Photo gallery with captions
Truman Capote’s Account
• In Cold Blood was originally published in
The New Yorker as a four-part series,
beginning on September 25, 1965. It sold
out immediately.
• It was published by Random House for the
first time as a novel in 1966.
• CAPOTE trailer
Stylistic &
Rhetorical Trends
AP Language & Composition
Stylistic and Rhetorical Trends
• Alternating Point of View
• Spatial organization  not totally
Stylistic &
Rhetorical Trends
AP Language & Composition
The American Dream
• ICB presents a conflicted image of the
notion of the American Dream.
• portrays a prosperous, homogenous, middleclass community, Holcomb, Kansas, that is
forced to question its values and its sense of
safety and security when the Clutter family is
• Many texts during this time period
questioned validity of the American
America in the 1950’s
• Marked by an expanding middle class,
confident consumer spending, and the early
development of American suburbia.
• Having emerged from its involvement in World
War II, America was eager to focus on the
proliferation of an affluent middle class at home.
• The popularization of the automobile and new
product advertising through television and
magazines revolutionized American
• BUT – Cold War tensions widespread fear of
Additional Universal Subjects
Banality of Evil
Socioeconomic Status
Self-Image and Ego
Nature versus Nurture
Humanism versus animalism
Mental illness
• The Death Penalty
– Interview with Truman about the dealth penalty
Free Template from
Instructional Design
with ICB
AP Language & Composition
An Online Literary Forum: What is It?
• Groups of students read the same text to
participate in a mutual reading experience.
• Based on the objectives and skills taught during
classroom instruction, students will take on a
variety of roles throughout the reading
• Students are provided with opportunities to
interact and respond to one another as they read
to interpret a common text.
An Online Literary Forum:
Objectives/Learning Targets/Purpose
• Students read a text beyond the regular classroom curriculum.
• Students read a common text to engage in critical reading and thinking
• Students participate in a critical discussion of a common text to
understand others’ perspectives of the text.
• Students will analyze literary and rhetorical elements of a text and
effectively communicate his/her analysis with peers.
• Students will make connections to other spheres of culture and society
to the text’s themes, motifs, symbols, characters, etc., thereby
demonstrating a transferability of skills and maturity in thought.
• Students participate in an online community of learners to develop
their skills in social media software and social media etiquette.
• Students write for a variety of audiences and purposes.
An Online Literary Forum:
Logistics and Overview
• Each student will become a member of a literature circle
group composed of approximately 10 students.
• Each student will respond to the essential question/prompt
posted each week. To respond, you may refer to the possible
“roles” provided.
• After reading the assigned pages in the text, each student
completes his or her role and posts this assignment as a
thread on the online discussion forum under the appropriate
• Each student then reads his or her group members’ postings
and thoroughly discusses their work and the text.
• Students read the second half of the text and repeat steps 3-4.
An Online Literary Forum:
• Students must complete a total of two postings of his/her
literature circle role assignment between due dates.
• Students must respond to the essential question with a
thoughtful response, making connections to and beyond the
• Further, you will be responsible for responding to at least one
group member’s response with a thoughtful, respectful
An Online Literary Forum: Hints
for Success (and sparkle)
• Allow the discussion to become natural.
– The discussion may seemed forced at first, but lead the discussion of the text in a way
that you become invested and engaged in the text and your group’s discussion of the
• All posts should demonstrate critical thinking and common courtesy.
Disagreements and debates are a natural part of discussion; however, such
discussions should focus on the topic and should not demean anyone.
• All posts should demonstrate a proper use of language so that
communication is clear and pleasant for all. This means standard English
should be used—nonstandard abbreviations, slang, and foul language is
not permissible.
• Post assignments and comments long before the deadline so that everyone
has time to examine and post to your work.
• Evaluation will be focused on the individual. You are responsible only
for your own work and your own postings.
• Create an account for the literary forum.
Yes, I will check.
• By Friday, you must respond to the
essential question.
• By Monday morning at 8:00, you must
have responded to at least one classmate.
• Note: this book will be discussed throughout the
quarter, and you will have quizzes throughout

similar documents