Mr. Big Boy Homie G Essay

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Study Guide for In Cold Blood
Description (Physical/Personal Traits)
Relevance (role, important actions, words etc.)
Herb Clutter

Bonnie Clutter

Nancy Clutter

Kenyon Clutter

Bobby Rupp

Susan Kidwell

Description (Physical/Personal Traits)
Relevance (role, important actions, words etc.)
Alvin Dewey

Harold Nye

Roy Church

Clarence Duntz

Tex John Smith


Floyd Wells

Lowell Lee Andrews

Mr. Helms

Alfred Stocklein

Mrs. Hideo Ashida

Description (Physical/Personal Traits)
Relevance (role, important actions, words etc.)
Bess Hartman

Mother Truitt

Mrs. Myrt Clare

Barbara Johnson

Don Cullivan

Josephine Meier

Dick Hickock

Perry Smith

Discussion Questions: These questions are designed to make you think; therefore, answers should be thoughtful and thorough. Use evidence from the text whenever possible and cite page numbers for your quotes. NEVER answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” I cannot see any of these questions being answered in less than 100-200 words. Remember, this book is one of the works you can choose for your IOP in May. Thoroughness now may pay off in the future.

1. Holcomb, Kansas, appeared to Capote as the very embodiment of traditional American ideas. Discuss the importance of the setting in Holcomb. What does the novel reveal about the town? How does the gossip surrounding the crime reflect underlying truths about Holcomb and small town Kansas? Is the town a character or protagonist?
2. What kind of family is the Clutter household? In what way does Capote create sympathy for them? Do you feel they represented the American Dream?
3. Capote carefully depicts the personalities of secondary characters, such as Al Dewey, for example. Why do you think he does this and what do these detailed portraits add to book? Which of the secondary characters do you find most memorable and why?

4. Capote recounts the story in a certain order, beginning with the day of the murder, and proceeding to the discovery of the bodies, the investigation of the crime and capture of the criminals, and the trial and execution. At what point does Capote depict the murder scene? How does he work Perry’s and Dick’s backgrounds into the narrative? Think of alternative plot structures that Capote could have used, and analyze why you think Capote structures the events as he does? Did the author make you feel attached to the family with this style? Why did he save the descriptions of the murders until the criminals’ confessions?
5. Discuss the tone of the book (tone reveals the author’s attitude toward his material) which is objective (or nonjudgmental) but also sympathetic. How did Capote achieve this? 6. In Cold Blood is documentary but also literary. For example, in the beginning of the book, as Capote describes the Kansas farmland, he writes: “The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them”. Capote, in this brief passage, evokes the pastoral (which suggests the themes of rural life and paradise and fall) and he also evokes the high seriousness of the Greek tragedy (which suggests themes of the state, such as justice, and connects the crimes of individuals to the health of the state). Discuss the relationship between the specific crime and the health of the state (meaning other citizens and our institutions).

7. Find at least four other salient examples from the text in which Capote uses literary language, and discuss the effects. Do not restrict yourself to just imagery. Diversify your examples. This exercise increases your appreciation of the text as a work of art, and also increases your sensitivity to and ability to analyze language.

The above questions were borrowed from Study Guide: In Cold Blood from his