Monday, November 17, 2008

Essay 4

Essay 4: In Cold Blood

3-5 pages

100 pts

Rough 11/ 20     

Final 11/25


  1. How does Capote change the story? How does the story change Capote? Use ICB and Capote to make your points.


  1. Which of the following reasons (from Kim's essay) best explains why the Clutters were murdered? Using examples from ICB, explore all four (3?) reasons in the process of explaining why one is best explains the crime.


    1. an ill-fated crossing of paths,
    2. a psychological accident, (what does this one mean?)
    3. mental illness, or
    4. displaced revenge?


  2. How and why would you vote on the jury? Guilty/Innocent? Sane/Insane? Death/Life? Use examples from ICB to support your point. Also, I've got a packet on the Death penalty pro/con.
    1. Should there be a death penalty in America?
    2. If so, does this case fit the criteria for a death sentence?
    3. Should both men be put to death?







  1. According to Kim:

    The book is ultimately a condemnation of society's treatment of its children and its unwillingness to forgive those outside the boundaries of acceptable definition. Capote's portrayal of Smith as the victim of a self-righteous society reveals his own rejection of conformity and his identification with the antagonist anti-hero. Smith's primary fault, Capote believes, is not being a criminal, but attempting to change the path set by childhood trauma and familial abuse and defy the characterization of himself by others. If Smith is not mentally ill, Capote believes that he has dormant violent tendencies, like everyone, which were fed a steady diet by a history of humiliating experiences—until he explodes in a misdirected, fatal fury.

    1. Summarize this statement point by point in your own words. These could be body paragraphs. (There's four sentences in Kim's statement).
    2. Respond to each point with your own opinion (agree/disagree, agree and disagree? agree with changes, disagree with most but not all etc.)
    3. Use examples from ICB and Capote to support your agreement or disagreement.
  2. PLEASE, PLEASE only write about this if you are up to a big challenge.

The idea behind the texts I chose for this class was to move from Maycomb to Holcomb to No Country. And from small town 30's, 50's, 80's. And to see the country change, maybe to see it's values decline. To go from Atticus to Anarchy. Compare/contrast these three pictures of the shifting values in America. What has changed? What is the same?

  1. Have we become No Country for Atticus/Dewey/Ed Tom?
  2. In so doing have we become a country for the Ewells? Perry Smith? Anton Chigurh?
  3. or a country for Tom Robinson, Calpurnia, Capote and Scout?

Use Lydia Kim. Use NCFoM articles. Use ideas of "postmodernism". Crime? Racism? Gender equality? Violence (including pop culture, war, children, etc)?

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