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Themes, Conflicts And Techniques In The Book In Cold Blood

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Table of contents

  1. Antagonist and Protagonist
  2. Plot Summary
  3. External and Internal conflict
  4. Foreshadowing and Irony
  5. Theme

Antagonist and Protagonist

To start off, the protagonist of “In Cold Blood” would have to be the detective “Al Dewey”. Al was a cop that came to the scene. He wanted to find the killer of the family because the Clutters were a popular family that really did not have any problems with anyone. It was almost like Al was best friends with the Clutters because he was trying so hard to find the person that killed them. Dick was a main character who was one of the murders of the family, i chose him as the antagonist because no one thought it would have been him because everyone thought he was a good guy. Dick on the other hand is not believable, he made us think it was someone else when it was him along.

Plot Summary

“In Cold Blood” is a story about a popular family getting murdered and everyone is shocked, there is a detective who trys for so long to figure out who the killer is. The book started off being pretty slow until all of a sudden there was a shooting at the Clutters house. A girl who normally got picked up by the Clutters went over and found them dead. It was a surprise to everyone because the Clutters were very nice people who didnt cause any drama. The two murderers who were Dick and Perry actually leave and go out of town so they wouldnt get caught. Once they leave its almost like everyone gives up on the trial but everyone is still scared because they know the killer is still out there somewhere. But eventually people put out a look for Dick and Perry and luckily enough a cop saw them and took them in. Dick decided it would be best to just confess. They then get sent to jail for life, the town is calm and peaceful now.

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External and Internal conflict

The external conflict happens between Al who is the detective and Dick who is the killer of the Clutter family. For so long Al wanted to find the killer of the family but he never could because it was hiding right in front of him the whole time, Dick being the antagonist means he was clearly the problem and he was. He made it hard on the whole town because everyone was so scared to go to sleep at night and to just go outside. So Dick made everything worse by going out and hiding from Al and this is why Dick is the problem. The internal conflict in this story has to go back to the protagonist, Al. Al was ready to find the killer and everyone believed in him, he just needed more hints to figure it out. He spent just about all of his time working on this case, he just knew it would mean a lot to the town if he found the killer. Climax is the turning point of the story so the turning point of “In Cold Blood” would have to be when Dick and Perry confessed to killing this, this then sent them both to jail and changed the rest of the story. The conflict that was resolved is that Al finally knew who the killer was and so did everyone else, so now people could go back to being happy and living their lives again.

Foreshadowing and Irony

One of the foreshadowing evnts that happened in my story was about a man who was walking in the clutters house and a decective spoted him so he wnet up and asked him why he was walking around in there, but the man had just said he was curious about what the house looked like after they had died. Al, who was the detective went over to the guys car and found a shotgun and a knife. The weird part about this was that the Clutters died by a shotgun and had gotten stabbed. After that it made me instantly think that he was the killer because he had both weapons and he was inside the house with no one else. Another example of foreshawdoing would be when Nancys boyfriend left her house he said “it almost felt like someone was waiting for me to leave”. At the end of the book i thought about it and realized the person waiting for him to leave was the killer of the Clutters. An example of irony would be Mr Clutter talking about putting money in the bank for his life insurance, this just kinda makes it seem weird that he got murdered a day after putting a ton of money in the bank.


The theme of this book would have to be something along the lines of “working hard enough for something you want will pay off in the future”. The meaning of the quote means that dont give up so easily, if you really wanna know something or really want to complete something then try your hardest and one day you will succseed. This is related to Al who was the detective of the case, Al was so determinded to figure out who the killer was. Even after people telling him he wouldnt be able to find him and people telling him to stop worrying about it, he still continued to find clues and kept trying and ended up finding the killers of the family.

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Themes, Conflicts And Techniques In The Book In Cold Blood. (2021, September 07). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Themes, Conflicts And Techniques In The Book In Cold Blood.” Edubirdie, 07 Sept. 2021,
Themes, Conflicts And Techniques In The Book In Cold Blood. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Sept. 2023].
Themes, Conflicts And Techniques In The Book In Cold Blood [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 07 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
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