Throughout the start of the novel Capote introduces the Clutter family and characterises them, giving the reader an emotional attachment to them, even though the reader knows that the fate of the Clutters results in their brutal murder. The last character we read about before the death of the Clutter family is Nancy, during this time, we learn more about her as a person, giving us more of an emotional attachment to her.
Nancy’s death is quite ironic ‘she set out the clothes she intended to wear to church the next morning’ it’s ironic, because the reader knows that she won’t be wearing it to church the next morning, because she will be murdered during the night – ‘it was the dress in which she was to be buried’. This end focus simple sentence creates sympathy for Nancy, because instead of wearing it to church the next day like intended, she wore it to be buried.
We are shown just how selfless Nancy is in this extract ‘the midnight hours were her ‘time to be selfish and ...view middle of the document...
The fact that it is in quotation marks shows that she said it herself, implying that she thinks that taking a small amount of time for herself IS selfish, when in fact it isn’t at all, she is a teenage girl, and it could be argued that the fact that Bonnie has a mental condition and is always in her room or away from home leaving Nancy to have the motherly role in the family could be the reason for why she thinks like this, instead of thinking like a teenage girl. The fact that Nancy has so much grown up responsibility could imply that she never really had much of a childhood, which makes her death even more poignant, because she’s spent most of her life caring for other people rather than having a childhood.
Although Nancy is a very independent girl and is seen as a mother figure, she is still a teenage girl and is still rather adolescent, ‘her ‘first REAL quarrel with Bobby’ – a page literally tear stained’. The altered typography reinforces teenage life and poignancy, because it shows how much she loved Bobby and how she thinks that having an argument with him is the end of the world. This makes the reader feel sympathy for both Nancy and Bobby, because we know about her murder and we know that nothing more will ever come of their relationship.
Nancy is a very religious girl ‘before saying her prayers’. This wasn’t an unusual thing back in the 1950’s a lot of people we quite religious then. Also, we know that Nancy lives in Kansas, which is in the ‘bible belt’ which could have an impact on her religiousness. It is quite ironic that the night before she dies she prays to God, the reader could assume that she is praying to God asking him to bless her and her family, but then they get killed, which is quite poignant.
It is shown that Nancy has not yet found her identity, which could imply adolescence, ‘Is this Nancy? Or that? Or that? Which is me?’ this implies that she is not yet mature enough to know exactly who she is as a person, which makes her death even more poignant, ‘because I’m not grown-up enough to be one person’ this shows that she is still a child, and could imply that she isn’t ready for all the grown up responsibility that she has.