Kenyon Clutter

IN COLD BLOOD

Character: Kenyon Clutter

Kenyon is one of the four members of the Clutter family. He and his family live in an unnoticed town in Kansas named Holcomb. He and his family are well liked by everyone they meet, they have little to no enemies and live the the dream life of a perfect family that has no flaws, except for Bonnie Clutters illness of course. Kenyon himself is the youngest of the Clutters and is often out of the spotlight, his older sister Nancy outshines him with praise. He is a lonely kid whose best friend left him for a girl, and he usually likes to hang around the basement of his home. He, along with his family, were murdered by unknown people in cold blood.

Who is Kenyon Clutter?

A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS

I think Truman's purpose behind characterizing Kenyon the way he did was to show that the Clutter family is not entirely perfect. The people of Holcomb view the Clutter family as people who live life upon a very high pedestal; there was never anything wrong with this family according to every person who lived in the town of Holcomb. They were a family whose lives were torn away and did not deserve for it to happen. On the outside, they looked like the type of family who could be placed on a advertisement of 1950s lifestyle. Herb and Nancy could be potential poster children for good citizenship. Then, we get Kenyon.

Truman never goes into as much depth onto the personality and lifestyle of Kenyon Clutter as much as he would pay attention to Herb, Bonnie, and Nancy. His tone when it comes to Kenyon seems more on the bored side as he uses the device of imagery to show the reader what Kenyon does with his closest friend on a daily basis. Kenyon only receives a few paragraphs about his life while the other Clutter family members, including the murderers, get pages full of description to keep the reader interested. Truman describes Kenyon as a mommas boy who is sensitive and no where near a man. To me personally, I like Kenyon. The people of Holcomb view the Clutters as the rulers over everything, they are well respected. Kenyon is a difference in the family, he usually stays out of the way and isn't really mentioned when people think of the perfect Clutter family. "His contemporaries thought him "stand-offish," yet forgave him, saying, "Oh, Kenyon. It's just that he lives in a world of his own," (Truman 25). These are the words that the people of Holcomb usually describe Kenyon with, he isn't praised like Nancy or Herb. When everyone tells their tales about the Clutters, everyone makes sure to make them sound like the best people on the planet, but Kenyon is different. Instead of melding into the perfect picture, he tends to stay on the outside. He takes on the role as the most relatable Clutter, the one who isn't exactly perfect and is who he is.

Citations

Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. New York: Vintage International, 1965. Print.


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