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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s is written by the American playwright and novelist, Truman Capote. Truman Capote wrote many novels and short stories and is most remembered by his non-fiction novel entitled, “In cold Blood” where he objectively wrote on the true story behind the murder of a wealthy family in Kansas (Books and Writers 2008). The novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s was written in the year 1958 and was set on New York City in the time of the World War II. The story revolves around a young woman named Holly Golightly and an unnamed narrator.

The novel is written based on the unnamed narrator’s recollection of the events of his friendship and his fascination with his neighbor Holly Golightly that occurred twelve years earlier. In the novel, Holly is portrayed as a newcomer in New York who is in search for her happiness which she found through her cat and through her visits to her favorite store Tiffany’s. The unnamed writer first saw and met Holly after she went home drunk one night and mistakenly rang the doorbell of one of the neighbors after losing her key and causing a commotion.

It was from this time on when the fascination of the unnamed writer started. Holly is depicted as a short-haired boyish girl who was around nineteen years old. Holly’s character in the novel can be described as complicated. It is later revealed that Holly and her brother Fred, who was a soldier that was sent to fight for the World War II, were both raised from foster homes in Texas after both their parents died. Holly married a rich doctor from Tulip Texas, at the age of fourteen in order to escape her ordeal with her foster home. This was where Holly had adapted the name Golightly from Doc Golightly, her husband.

After the dissolution of her marriage, she left and went to New York where she later met many other men. It was because of a violent incident with her new lover that she went knocking on the door of the unnamed writer which became the start of her friendship with the writer. One night, as the unnamed narrator was sleeping, he heard Holly crying. His manner of questioning raged Holly and she left the apartment but the two would eventually reconcile. There was also an incident in the book when Holly fought with the writer because she thought that his written pieces were untellable.

It was Christmas time when Holly and the unnamed writer exchanged gifts. He gave her a gift from her favorite store, Tiffany’s. The gift was St. Christopher’s medal. She, on the other hand, gave the unnamed writer a bird cage that he was supposed to have liked. Holly also had numerous relationships in the novel. She was once conducting an affair with a millionaire named Rusty Tawler during the time that her roommate and friend Mag Wildwood, who was a model, was engaged to a Brazilian politician Jose Yberra-Jaegar.

Jose Yberra-Jaegar was running for presidency in his country. After a dispute with Mag over her relationship with Jose, Mag married Rusty Tawler. When news of the marriage reached the unnamed writer, he then paid Holly a visit in her home. The unnamed writer along with Jose and a doctor came to Holly’s home and found her distraught. Jose then revealed that Holly had received news that her brother Fred was killed in action in the war. Holly was also seen in the novel frequently visiting a felon named Sally Tomato who was incarcerated at Sing sing prison.

Holly would receive a hundred dollars every time she would visit and read the supposed weather report that would be known later as encrypted messages for the felon from his lawyer named O’Shaughnessey. Holly’s relationship with Jose bloomed and she became pregnant with his child. Holly and Jose had planned to marry and live in Brazil. One afternoon, Holly invited the unnamed writer to share the afternoon with her and they went horseback riding in Central Park. In the end of the novel, the encrypted messages were decoded by the police and Holly was charged with conspiracy.

She was arrested during her horseback riding with the writer. Because the charges against Holly were publicized and would place Jose’s run for presidency will be put in jeopardy, Jose leaves Holly. Be that as it may, Holly still planned to move to Brazil and has asked the unnamed writer to get her belongings as well as her unnamed cat. Holly had lost her cat in the process of her trying to escape and had asked the unnamed writer to retrieve it and to take care of it for her. She then left.

Holly’s law suits were soon dropped once Tomato was found dead but she had already left the country to live in Buenos Aires where the unnamed writer received one last post card before never hearing from Holly again. In the movie version that was adapted from this novel, the time setting was after the war in the early 1960s. Holly was seen not as the short-haired boyish girl but as a sophisticated and glamorous woman. It was because of this movie that Audrey Hepburn, the actress who portrayed the character had won several acting awards (Yahoo movies 2009).

The movie starts off as Holly, who was fashioning the little black dress and sunglasses after partying all night, stops and takes a look at the store called “Tiffany’s”. She was eating breakfast which was a danish and coffee. It can be said that Holly is a socialite in the movie as she always threw parties that had rich men as guests. In the movie version, Holly’s cat was named “cat” and the unnamed writer was named Paul Varjak. It was clear from the movie that Paul was not only fascinated with Holly but was also in love with her. Paul also had a secret in the movie, which is his involvement with an older woman, who was named as Mrs.

Falenson, who was financing his stalled writing career which is not depicted in the novel. Mrs. Falenson was seen as an interior decorator that had a controlling nature in her relationship with Paul. Paul was never seen to be in-love with Mrs. Falenson but was just in the relationship because of the monetary benefits he was receiving from her. Paul’s relationship with the older woman soon ended when he felt that even though he loved writing, his love is not enough for him to sacrifice his integrity by continuing his relationship with her.

In the movie, Holly’s love for Tiffany’s can be seen in one of the famous lines shown when Holly was checking if her unnamed cat was alright, Holly spoke “…He’s all right! Aren’t you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven’t got the right to give him one. We don’t belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I’m not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It’s like Tiffany’s. ” (Reel classics 2009).

Holly was noted to say that whenever she felt the “mean reds”, she would always come to Tiffany’s. Her depiction of the “mean reds” was when she suddenly feels afraid without knowing what she was afraid of. The other aspects seen in the novel like Holly’s monthly messages to the Sing Sing prison and the countless relations that she had with men in exchange for money was seen in the movie. Her short-lived engagement with a wealthy millionaire was also seen. The sexual preferences of the writer in the novel who was named Paul in the movie were changed from a homosexual to a heterosexual.

Holly’s dreams of becoming wealthy enough to be able to take care of herself and her brother Fred was also shown in the movie adaptation of the novel. There was a particular scene in the movie when Paul and Holly were in a bar and she was narrating that Fred was now her responsibility and she had planned to marry Rusty who had married someone else the following day. Paul’s love for Holly was made clear in the movie when he was comforting her as she was grieving over the death of her brother. Holly also referred to Paul as Fred in reverence of her brother.

As Holly and Paul were becoming close, Holly announced her engagement to Jose which enraged Paul. He them moved away from his residence to distance himself from Holly. He later on receives an invitation that Holly will be going away to Brazil for good. After the dinner party, Holly was arrested for her involvement in the Sing Sing prison and got locked-up in jail. Paul bailed her the following day and brought the cat along. Upon finding out that Jose had broken up with her, she threw her cat away. The movie goes on to show that Holly was at first hesitant to show her love for Paul.

Paul had told her that she was not capable of letting anyone get close to her including her cat. As the rain was pouring, Paul, along with her cat, walks away from her. Holly then stops him and runs after him as she realized that she wants to be with him. The major differences between the movie version and the original novel can be seen first and foremost with the identity of the unnamed writer or Paul. In the novel, there were signs that showed that the writer’s fascination for Holly was not romantic in any level while in the movie; it was depicted as romantic in nature.

There were two different personalities of Holly seen. In the book, Holly was boyish and her relations with men were in exchange for money while in the movie, it was seen that Holly was glamorous and sophisticated. The setting for both the movie and the book differed. The book was set during the World War II but in the movie, it was set in the present day when it was first released, which was in the 1960’s. The transformation in the appearance of Holly in the novel after finding out that her brother had died was not seen in the movie.

In the novel, Holly became over weight and had become dependent on her relationship with Jose, while in the movie, Holly never allowed herself to ever get close to anyone or anything else except her fascination and love for material possessions. The romantic tone of the book between Holly and Paul was very well depicted in the movie that the ending in the novel was changed entirely for this purpose. In the novel, the writer never heard from Holly again after receiving one last post card that came from Buenos Aires, while in the movie, they were seen expressing their affection for each other under the rain.

Woks Cited: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Dir. Blake Edwards. Perf. Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Bubby Ebsen. Paramount pictures,1961. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. ” Yahoo movies. 2009. 16 May 2009. <http://movies. yahoo. com/movie/1800040961/info> “Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)” Reel classics. 2009. 16 May 2009. <http://www. reelclassics. com/Movies/Tiffanys/tiffanys. htm> Books and Writers. 2008. Truman Capote (1924-1984) – original name Truman Streckfus Persons. 16 May 2008 <http://www. kirjasto. sci. fi/capote. htm

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