Capote Vs. Krakauer Capote/Krakauer Comparison Essay The most important thing any writer can do is to give their characters a feel of dimension to make them seem real. Although Capote and Krakauer do that in very different ways in In Cold Blood and Into Thin Air, they both reached the same end result: characters you believe. They give them thoughts, faces and personalities. They dont portray everyone as flawless, they display the faults and the little quirks.
They give them life through words, making these stories believable. Despite the fact both incidents happened years before each book was written, the use of detailed facts and personality profiles make each story seem incredibly realistic. But while Capote chooses to write an entirely objective piece, Krakauer relies heavily on personal opinion and experience, creating two very distinct frames of mind and causing the reader too see the characters in each book very differently. In 1959 the Clutter family was murdered in a tiny Kansas town called Holcomb. Six years later Truman Capote wrote a very detailed book about the whole case, from the day of the murder to the court case prosecuting the two murderers, Dick and Perry. Although he wasnt there when the four murders happened, through word choice, description and characterization he creates an accurate portrait of the many intense events surrounding such a tragic story.
In comparison, in 1996 esteemed climber Rob Hall led an expedition of moderately experienced climbers attempting to climb Mt. Everest, only to result in disaster and the loss of nine peoples lives. Jon Krakauer was a member of that expedition, and wrote a piece about the misadventure for Outside magazine. Feeling there was more to be said, soon after he wrote a book. Krakauer takes a similar approach as Capote, yet inserting more opinions and less of a feeling of objectiveness to his characters. This is most likely since Krakauer was living Everest first hand, as opposed to Capote who put himself into the environment years later, picking up details here and there instead of relying solely on memory and friends. One of Capotes greatest strengths is to create thought for his characters, making it almost appear as if he knows what they are thinking.
All summer Perry undulated between half-awake stupors and stickly, sweat-drenched sleep. Voices roared through his head; one voice persistently asked him, Where is Jesus? Where? And once he woke up shouting, The bird is Jesus! The Bird is Jesus! (381) This selection almost creates a feeling that Capote is talking about himself as opposed to a man he never met. Although this type of detail may seem unimportant to the overall story, it creates an amazing sense of believability. That ability is one of the main reasons Capotes book is so believable. By seeing Perry suffer through his horrible nightmares its easier to believe his character.
It makes him very real and lifelike to the readers. Krakauer also gives voice to his characters, yet his interpretation of them seems to be constantly influenced by his own opinions of their personality and actions. Stuart Hutchinson, thirty-four, attired in a Ren and Stimpy tee shirt, was a cerebral, somewhat wonkish Canadian cardiologist on leave from a research fellowship. (37) By implying that he pictured Hutchinson as wonkish (i.e. behavior seen as crazy, humorous, or amusingly perverse) he is putting an idea in the readers head which otherwise might not have been there. It is Krakauer stating his view on the mans behavior that provides a different tone, basing that on the fact that other people on the expedition may not have felt the same way.
One area in which both authors excel is description. Both stories have a sense of reality, with all the fabulous description of scenery it is easier to picture what is happening. For Capote, it wasnt hard to get people to relate to a small town in the Midwest. At one end of the town stands a dark old stucco structure, the roof of which supports an electric sign –DANCE– but the dancing has ceased and the advertisement has been dark for several years. (13) That is a sight which many people have seen in one form or another in their lives, making it even easier to understand the town of Holcomb and its small population. Krakauer has a harder task, trying to relate readers to being on Mt.
Everest, something very few people have ever done. To make up for that fact, he uses great detail to help create a picture in his readers mind. Cinders, coarse gravel, and granite boulders covered much of the ice, but every now and then the trail would cross a patch of bare glacier- a translucent, frozen medium that glistens like polished onyx. (58) Although Capote and Krakauer each have a different style, different opinions and different ways of making the truth story like, both are wonderful storytellers and have created great examples of true stories. American History.