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Few authors have the skill to express their view of a setting without straightforwardly telling the audience. In this small passage from In Cold Blood, Truman Capote very eloquently does just that, describing the look and feel of Holcomb, Kansas through words. With Capote’s use of many elements like figurative language, imagery, and detain, he reveals his original but mysterious views on the scenery of Holcomb. All while describing this content town, Capote builds up for a drastic change to end the excerpt.
Starting strong from the first line of the excerpt, Capote puts in uninteresting details about Holcomb, and saying that other Kansans call Holcomb “out there”. This brings attention to how isolated and far away from exciting city life this small town really is. Not only does Capote bring in the details of within the town, he describes the location of Holcomb, to give the readers a larger picture. Capote points out that the town is closed in on all side with fields of wheat, a river, and prairies.
The inner town is shown as remote, boring, and with a sense of calmness. Images such as “unnamed, unshaded, unpaved” and “peeling sulphur-colored paint” show how Capote views Holcomb. He describes a remote and boring place to be. It is clear that Capote see the town as average and lacking in liveliness and excitement.
Alongside the details of the landscape, Capote uses a great deal of imagery to describe the town’s small impurities and quirks, as well as they lifestyle and personalities of the people that live there.
Concentrating on much of Holcomb’s looks, he describes “peeling sulphur-colored paint” and ramshackle mansion”, as well as “flaking gold on a dirty window”. This strong imagery portrays the town’s deteriorating liveliness. The author then shows the residents of the town with “The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang” and a “ranch-hand nasalness”. Capote shows his thoughts of the bland town through visual imagery.
Through all Capote’s imagery and description, he portrays his true feelings of how average and dull the town of Holcomb, Kansas is. However, all this simplicity is just used to strongly contrast the ending paragraph, which ends in a mysterious turnaround of having Holcomb become noticed for a certain significant event.
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