Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote

This morning, I read Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a novella by Truman Capote.  I had read In Cold Blood several years ago, and find some similarities in the characterization, but little else as the narrative follows a fictional relationship between two people in New York. It was a nice short read, the characters were pitiful, but that just makes you love them more.

The narrator, a young writer, is pleased with finally finding a home of his own in a brownstone apartment in New York.  A neighbor has moved in, a young woman named Holly Golightly who spends days sleeping and nights entertaining older gentlemen.  Holly is a character if there ever was one, a self described nut who ran a way from her Texas home at fourteen. She had married the horse doctor who had taken her in, but ran away because she never felt at home.  She went to Hollywood and was on the verge of becoming a star, when she ran again to New York.  She went on many dates and flirted money right out of the pockets of wealthy older gentlemen. Holly ended up with a Brazilian diplomat, preparing to marry him and move to Rio when her world came crashing down as she was arrested for involvement with a notorious gangster.  The gangster, Sally Tomato, was visited by Holly every Thursday, she delivered coded messages to him, unknowingly, but she thought the ‘weather reports’ were a cute game. Pregnant and shattered by the news of the diplomats decision to leave her, she decided to take the flight to Brazil and leave it all behind, facing indictment for fleeing the prosecution.

The two central characters, the narrator and Holly Golightly, were polar opposites.  The narrator was proud to have a place to call home and Holly was never able to find a home to settle in.  This freedom and stability issue was continuous throughout the text.  One Christmas, they exchanged gifts.  Holly gave the man an elaborate birdcage, a home for avian, while he gave her a medal of St. Christopher, the patron saint of safe travel. At the end of the book, Holly had sent a post card stating she had found a home in Buenos Aires, the the narrator had spend much of his time traveling the world, their roles seemingly reversed.

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