Cold Blood’ and Frankenstein Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 4 July 2017

Cold Blood’ and Frankenstein

Compare how Capote and Shelley use different techniques for characterisation and their use of emotive, figurative language with the use of repition to show the theme of wasted lives ‘In Cold Blood’ was written in 1966 when screenplays were very common. Authors such as Shakespeare wrote traditional plays so it was unpredictable that the readers of ‘In Cold Blood’ would respond to the novel well as it was the first non fiction novel Capote wrote. Capote wanted to experiment with his writing using narrative techniques of the novel to depict real life events.

Capote believed that the narrator should not interrupt in novels; but the characters should tell the story themselves. Capote was able to write a novel which displayed the real events surrounding the murder of the Herb Clutter family and shaped it into a storyline. ‘In Cold Blood’ is based on a true story of the murders of a family- something which would be wrote about in today’s society. The novel is an account of the events but also contains elements of Capote’s creativity therefore it is hard to tell whether it is fictional or factual.

‘Frankenstein’ on the other hand is a non fictional novel which is still read and appreciated today as it is of a gothic genre. ‘Frankenstein’ was written in 1818 when science was seen as exciting but also dangerous as it was trespassing on the territory of God. The early 19th century was a time which generated exceptional events and ideas therefore it must have been quite interesting to read ‘Frankenstein’. The danger of science was a great classic theme and Shelley provided her gothic genre as a framework to tone the horror of failed science- the famous experiment gone wrong.

‘Frankenstein’ is still a very popular novel today because of it’s fascination in science which is still explored. Capote portrays his character Bonnie as being a very timid and shy character. She has a ‘heart faced shape’ which is symbolic to her personality and it suggests that she is a likeable character. The significance of this is that it makes the readers engage with her and they want to know her story in order to feel sympathy for her. Bonnie has ‘bony hands’ and is quite petitie which suggests that she is quite vunerable- like the creature in ‘Frankenstein’.

In ‘Frankenstein’, we get the creature’s perspective, ‘and what was I? ‘ this is similar to Capote’s character Bonnie with both the characters looking for reassurance from someone. Both the writers make it easy for the reader to discover new aspects of the characters personalities. Capote uses emotive language in repition to suggest that Bonnie may have had a wasted life which makes the readers have sympathy for her. Capote uses the term ‘spinster aunt’ which is a type of semantic change known for an unmarried woman. Even though the novel was written in 1966, the language is still easily read and understood.

Unlike ‘In Cold Blood’, ‘Frankenstein’ contains language which may cause a barrier if read today. Shelley uses words like ‘loathsome’ and ‘squalid’ which would rarely be used today however the novel is still effective at portraying the gothic horror through emotive and figurative language. In the extract of the dialogue between Jolene and Bonnie, Capote portrays the significance of the difference between Bonnie and Jolene. Jolene is a very confident character whereas Bonnie constantly panicks and stutters when she speaks; this shows that she may feel worthless and may feel that she is not noticed by others.

Capote emphasizes Bonnie’s wasted life indirectly by comparing her to Jolene’s character who comes across as very confident. The comparison of the two characters is quite significant as it shows the importance of emotion that Bonnie has felt. Capote brings a child like quality to Bonnie through the dialogue between Bonnie and Jolene, ‘They don’t need me,’ this shows that Bonnie may be looking for reassurance from Jolene. Capote makes the reader feel sorry for Bonnie in order to like her character as she may have had a bad past. The repition of ‘they don’t need me’ reinforces the sadness of Bonnie.

It is also suggesting how she may not be very close to her family. Capote makes us aware of the sadness and timidness of Bonnie for the readers to sympathise with her and hope that she succeeds later in the novel. The insecurities that Capote brings out in his character can resemble the characters of today’s famous novels. Shelley makes the readers realise that even though the creature is deformed, he is still a character who underneath his flaws should be treated the same as any other person. ‘I was not even of the same nature as man’, this shows that Shelley wants the readers to sympathise with the creature and almost feel his emotion.

The creature’s life is empty if not more than Bonnies as all he longs for is companionship. Shelley makes the readers feel quite sad for the creature as he is deprived of love. With the use of figurative and emotive language, ‘I saw and heard of none like me’, Shelley introduces feelings to the reader which can only be seen as human. The readers see that the creature is still an outcast even though he has tried helping people and tried being humane. It’s unfortunate for the creature to have an empty life, one which he didn’t really ask for and like the one Bonnie almost wished she didn’t have.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 4 July 2017

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