Truman Capote in Contemporary American Literature

            "Truman Capote was one of the most famous and controversial figures in contemporary American literature” (Literature 2). Truman Capote had a harsh childhood and did poorly in school. However, his amazing ability to write stories and his manner with words allowed him to escape his misery. Capote had a unique lifestyle, and his writing has been influenced by important events during his upbringing. Truman Capote uses his life experiences to describe characterization and setting to develop the story in Breakfast at Tiffany's and "A Christmas Memory.”.

             Truman Streckfus Persons was born on September 30, 1924 in New Orleans, Louisiana. "During the first six years of his childhood, the boy frequently was handed off to the care of relatives by his carefree and irresponsible parents” (Magill 319). Persons constantly moved from one relative's house to another. This caused a confusing atmosphere for the young boy and added to his insecurity. "Following his parents' divorce in 1931, [he] spent most of his time in Monroeville until his mother remarried in 1932 to Joseph Capote” (319). Persons officially became Truman Capote and went to live in New York. Truman Capote always struggled as a student. Capote attended various private schools, such as "Trinity School and St. John's Academy” (Literature 1). His parents thought he was retarded and encouraged him take an IQ test. To his parents' surprise, Capote scored on the genius level of test. However, he could not stand the tedious classes and homework. Becoming more and more frustrated, he gave up. Capote dropped out of school and began working for The New Yorker magazine. "He served as a copyboy and file clerk” (Magill 321). Working in the publishing environment introduced Capote to the art of writing. .

             Capote started out writing short stories such as "A Christmas Memory,” and "A Tree of Night.” Capote was always writing and enjoyed the lift it gave to his depressing life.

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