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Capote's view of Holcomb, Kansas

english5210 1 / -  
May 17, 2007   #1
Write a well-organized essay in which you characterize Capote's view of Holcomb, Kansas and analyze how Capote conveys this view. Your analysis may consider such stylistic elements as diction, imagery, syntax, structure, tone, and selection of detail.

my essay had a length restriction. how can i make it better?

After reading this excerpt from In Cold Blood, one gets the notion that Truman Capote considers the town of Holcomb to be unpleasant. One gets this impression merely from paying attention to the choice of words that the author chooses to use in his condescending descriptions of the town. Using diction in the passage allows the reader to get a sense of the denigrating views he appears to have of Holcomb, and, upon further analysis, it is clear to see that Capote considers this small village as insignificant, old, and even irritating.

The diction in Capote's elaborate descriptions of the town reveal the patronizing views he has for the rural hamlet, with the use of critical words greatly accentuating his scrutiny. He describes the local accent as "barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness". Instead of using more positive phrases, such as "marked by" or "distinguishable by", the writer chooses to use "barbed with", a powerful description that demonstrates the author's severe dislike for the sound of the accent. The word "barbed" suggests Capote views the "prairie twang and ranch hand nasalness" as a poison that has infiltrated the language, and destroyed the sound of it, making it irritating and unpleasant.

"Not that there is much to see" is a line that stands out as the best reminder of Capote's views for the town. This line from the beginning of the passage combines all the different ways in which the author portrays Holcomb. The condescending tone is made visible through the arrogant-sounding diction and throughout the excerpt, it is word usage like this that makes the passage so effective in conveying the Capote's patronizing descriptions.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
May 17, 2007   #2

You would be able to discuss more characterizations if you eliminated some of the repetition. You go on at rather great length about the town description and could probably say what you need to say in a couple of sentences, rather than a whole paragraph. You could also probably eliminate explanatory phrases such as "it is word usage like this that makes the passage so effective in conveying the Capote's patronizing descriptions" or at least cut them down a bit. Try to tighten up your writing so that you can include more examples.

I hope this helps!


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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