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In Cold Blood: Context: Farming & Agriculture & The Pace of Life
Terms in this set (41)
The science or practise of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of the crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool and other products.
People that use/refer to agriculture
famers/gardeners, biology researchers, breeders
What year is the book set in?
Where is the book set?
What was Herb Clutter?
A farmer, was one of the most successful of his kind.
In 1950s America, farmer-produced foods were far more valuable than they are to this present day because?
Today, food can be produced on an industrial scale.
The 1950s had several what?
Why were droughts a problem for farmers?
The crops would die out, due to lack of water, and also made food far higher in demand
Why was Herb Clutter so wealthy?
Because the food was more valuable (plus the droughts that occured during that decade) farmers were paid far more than they are today.
Farm number were what during 1950-1980?
This period was in the middle of what?
The industrial revolution; most of the heavy labour was being aided by machines.
What did the industrial revolution create?
This created a recurring process of income and improvement, making the rich continue to get richer, as they invest in newer and newer technology
Why were farm numbers decreasing?
As the rich grew richer, the poorer farmers became relatively neglected, to the point of forced resignation.
What was the average wage of a farmer (1950s)?
What is the average wage of a farmer today?
When would farmers wake up?
Early, in order to get everything done.
What would farmers have to endure?
Awful smells, cleaning up animal waste, and gruelling labour on a daily basis.
When would farmers work from?
Dusk till dawn, stopping for only dinner and routinely breaks
Where did Herb Clutter set up his farm?
Where is Holcomb?
In the west of Kansas; in the text it is described as "rather more Far West than Middle West"
Who? "...he graduated from Kansas State University, where he had majored in agriculture."
Herb Clutter; page 3
Who? "He was currently chairman of the Kansas Conference of Farm Organisations." "His name was everywhere respectfully recognised among Midwestern agriculturists."
Herb Clutter; page 4
Who? "His wife once said 'My husband cares more for those trees than he does for his children'"
Herb Clutter; page 11
The average lifespan for a man
65 years old
The average lifespan for a woman
71 years old
Losses in the war lead to farms losing most of their labour so started using....
What age were children expected to leave school and work at what age?
14 years old
Many rural areas lost population because family members did what?
They seeked outside work (outside of the farm)
What did farmers never get?
Holidays or time-off due to there being no farm relief schemes in those days
Most children never saw what until they had left home?
What animals were considered extremely helpful?
Horses as they could pull some of the machinery and could also be used to get around
describes the lifestyle of residents of nonurban areas
Villages such as Holcomb are very...
'lonesome' and quite deserted which shows how isolated the area was. Everyone knew each other well and lived a calm and happy life however after the killers 'ended six human lives' the neighbors who up until then were 'unfearful of each other' started to 'lock their doors'. The incident 'stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbors viewed each other strangely, and as strangers.
The Clutter killings caused...
havoc on the security of Holcomb, fragmenting the community and creating suspicion. The residents of Holcomb experienced a loss of their former innocence.
We went around to the kitchen door, and of course it wasn't locked; the only person who locked doors around there was Mrs. Helm—the family never did."
This detail clues us in to the sense of security that most townspeople felt. When you had so few neighbours and knew them all, you weren't afraid.
Situated at the end of a long, lanelike driveway shaded by rows of Chinese elms, the handsome white house, standing on an ample lawn of groomed Bermuda grass, impressed Holcomb; it was a place people pointed out."
At the time everyone's ultimate goal was to live the American Dream."The American Dream" has become a widespread term to describe the American Way of Life.It consisted of being independent, owning land-which was seen as a way of showing off your wealth, and having a family.The imagery of the Clutters' impressive house drives home to the reader how vulnerable they are, even with all their wealth and success.
In general, a prosperous people. Farm ranchers, most of them, they are outdoor folk of very varied stock—German, Irish, Norwegian, Mexican, Japanese.
The Villages residents were usually American however not in this case. Capote tells us how ethnically diverse the small town of Kansas was.
Though [Bonnie Clutter] subscribed to several periodicals, [...] none of these rested on her bedside table—only a Bible
At the time people were very religious as religion gave them a sense of security. We know that Bonnie suffered from severe depression and felt weak and discouraged. We see here how much comfort she took in her Bible. It's what she reads before bedtime, which is probably when she feels most alone and rejected.
For, feeling it their duty, a Christian task, these men had volunteered to clean certain of the fourteen rooms in the main house [...].
Herb Clutter's friends didn't just take on this sad job because he was their friend. Capote is showing us how Bible-believing Christians try to live their faith.
The eldest daughter, Eveanna, [...] lived in northern Illinois but visited frequently. Indeed, she and her family were expected within the fortnight, for her parents planned a sizable Thanksgiving reunion of the Clutter clan [...];
At the time people wanted to have large families as it was a big part of living the American Dream. In this part of the book Capote is setting the stage for us about this close, happy extended Clutter family. However, not everyone was lucky enough to have a 'picture perfect' family. Sue Kidwell's family was different: her father had abandoned them and she was being raised by her mother.
Always certain of what he wanted from the world, Mr. Clutter had in large measure obtained it. On his left hand [...] he wore a plain gold band [...] which was the symbol, a quarter-century old, of his marriage to the person he had wished to marry..."
Socializing wasn't a big part of peoples lives as everyone was focusing on their work and duties.Herb Clutter is nothing if not goal-oriented and determined, and it sounds like he was that way from Day One.
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
In Cold Blood: Context: Use of the Non-Fiction Nov…
In Cold Blood: Context: The American Dream
In Cold Blood: Context: Capote's Authorial Bias
In Cold Blood: Context: Women in Patriarchal Socie…
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