Breakfast at Tiffany's

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Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's

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One day, Holly tells the narrator that she gave his story to O.J., who liked it but thinks he’s wasting his time writing about things nobody cares about. Holly says she agrees, which creates a nasty falling out between her and the narrator. Over the next few days, the narrator keeps his distance, but he soon notices a strange man lingering outside Holly’s apartment. One day, the man follows him to a café, and when the narrator finally confronts him, he learns that the suspicious man is Doc Golightly—Holly’s much older husband. Sitting at a diner counter, Doc Golightly explains that Holly—whose real name is Lulamae—wandered onto his property in Texas when she was still a girl, having run away from nasty foster parents with her brother Fred. Doc caught both Holly and Fred stealing from his farm, so he took them in. When Holly turned 14, he married her, and she eventually ran away despite seeming happy. The moment when you finally understand why the book is called "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is the one when you find out Holly's biggest dream and the main purpose in life. The main idea of the book is expressed in Holly's words "Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,[…] If you let yourself love a wild thing, you'll end up looking at the sky." In this book, "the wild thing" is a metaphor for Holly, a person who listens only to her heart, breaks the rules and doesn't really care about the future. She is that kind of woman which can't be tamed and who is in a continual search for the place which she calls "home". The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” written by George Axelrod and directed by Blake Edwards came out in 1961. Starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard as the main characters, the movie was bound to be successful. And so it was. It soon became Hepburn’s most memorable role and one of the most beloved Hollywood films.

Sordid History of Truman Capote’s BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S The Sordid History of Truman Capote’s BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

The narrator becomes increasingly interested in what happens in Holly’s apartment. Mag moves in, and she intends to marry a Brazilian politician named José starts coming to see her. Mag intends to marry him. At one point, the narrator learns that a small literary magazine has accepted one of his stories, and he rushes to show the letter to Holly, who insists that they go to lunch to celebrate. They spend the afternoon walking around together. The narrator shows Holly a large birdcage in a shop window that he has been admiring for quite some time. She admits it’s beautiful, but hates the idea of restricting a bird’s freedom. That Christmas, Holly gives the narrator the birdcage. Holly and the narrator have a drink, and the narrator tells her that he’s a writer. Holly says she’ll help him become well-known and asks him to read a story aloud. When he does, she critiques it. This deeply hurts the narrator, but he still finds Holly appealing and she endears herself to him once more. As someone used to sharing personal information, Holly tells the narrator that she visits a mobster named Sally Tomato in prison every Thursday, explaining that Sally’s lawyer approached her and asked if she would keep Sally company. Holly agreed, she tells the narrator, so she goes to see Sally each week, delivering coded messages, though she mainly enjoys the man’s company and doesn’t think too much about whatever information she’s communicating.

While the real-life similarities between Holly and Marilyn practically write themselves (“I’ve never had a home,” Monroe once told Capote, “not a real one with all my own furniture”), Martin Jurow—producer of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s film—was merely unconvinced that Monroe was a strong enough actress for the role. “Holly had to be sharp and tough, and as anyone who saw Marilyn could sense, she was about as tough as a tulip,” Wasson wrote. “It was difficult to imagine a personality like that living like Holly, all on her own in the big city.” And, of course, there were very practical matters of film production to take into account. For all that we’ve come to love and appreciate about Marilyn now, she did have a reputation for chronic lateness and an almost pathological inability to remember dialogue, sometimes requiring upwards of 50 takes for a single line. “It’s not that she was mean,” remembered Billy Wilder, director of The Seven Year Itch. “It’s just that she had no sense of time, nor conscience that that three hundred people had been waiting hours for her.” In the end Holly's destiny remains unclear and this leaves us many questions. Has she forgotten about her friend and that's the reason why she never writes to him? Where did her affairs bring her? Did she find that perfect place where she felt like at Tiffany's? Holly talks to the narrator about why she left O.J. behind in California, saying she doesn’t feel guilty even though she knows she should. Still, she says that she was only thinking of becoming an actress because she didn’t know what else to do. She then tells the narrator that fame would be too much for her at the moment—after all, she’s not yet attached to her own life. That’s why her apartment is so sparsely furnished and why her cat doesn’t have a name. Going on, Holly says she sometimes gets “the mean reds,” which is different than having the blues. The mean reds, she says, is a kind of “angst,” and the only way she knows how to deal with it is by taking a cab to Tiffany’s jewelry store and gazing at its beauty. This makes her feel calm, she says, because it feels like nothing bad could ever happen at Tiffany’s. Holly claims that if she could find a place in real life that made her feel like this, she would settle down immediately. While there are several “swans” who are believed to have contributed to the fictional creation of Holly, including Gloria Guinness, Oona O’Neill Chaplin, Carol Marcus, and Gloria Vanderbilt, there is one in particular that is thought to have gone above and beyond in terms of inspiration: Babe Paley, the wife of William S. “Bill” Paley, founder of the CBS television network. After selling the screen rights for Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Paramount, it became somewhat common knowledge that Capote had one and only one actress in mind to play Holly Golightly: little girl lost herself, Marilyn Monroe. Several myths surrounding the actress not getting cast have continued to circulate, with the general consensus being that Marilyn was already considered to be a high-maintenance diva and too much of a liability, so Paramount refused to even consider her. But that was never entirely true.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote Plot Summary | LitCharts

The woman in me really likes Audrey Hepburn because she is successful at what she’s doing, she’s sort of in charge of herself, and is a realist beyond being so cute and attractive,” said film critic Judith Crist in 2009. “That appeal—a woman’s appeal—comes from the very basic idea of the gamine, and not just the gamine’s physical being, but the idea of her cleverness. Marilyn didn’t have that, but Audrey did. As a gamine, shrewdness was available to her. So she’s a call girl, but we let her have it. There’s even something very appealing about it. We won’t admit it, but don’t we, really, all secretly admire her for it? Because she gets away with it? Because she’s so imperious, and at the same time is slightly, shall we say, immoral?” Finally, Holly emerges and tells O.J. that the narrator is a writer, though O.J. is uninterested. Gradually, the living room fills with men who all seem surprised by the crowd, each one having thought Holly invited him exclusively. The narrator identifies the most boisterous and confident person in the room as Rusty Trawler, who gregariously makes martinis while the narrator stands by the wall and pretends to read the books on Holly’s shelves. As he does so, he finds a newspaper clipping about Rusty, which explains that his parents died when he was a boy, turning Rusty into a highly-publicized millionaire orphan. Ever since then, Rusty has gotten a scandalous divorce and gone through legal battles that have appeared in the tabloids. He is also a widely-suspected Nazi-sympathizer. As the narrator reads these things, Holly approaches, deflecting the narrator when he asks about her visit to Sally Tomato that week.

Although on the surface Paley had everything she could have ever wanted and more, she and Bill had a relentlessly unhappy marriage. According to Capote’s testimony to Clarke, Babe had twice attempted suicide, once with pills and once by attempting to slit her wrists, and both times Capote claimed to have saved her. “Babe was caught,” Wasson wrote. “Truman would fashion Breakfast at Tiffany’s so Holly Golightly wouldn’t be.” I was madly in love with her,” Capote told Gerald Clarke, author of the 1988 biography Capote. “I just thought she was absolutely fantastic! She was one of the two or three great obsessions of my life. She was the only person in my whole life that I liked everything about. I consider her one of the three greatest beauties in the world, the other two being Gloria Guinness and Garbo. But Babe, I think, was the most beautiful. She was in fact the most beautiful woman of the twentieth century … [S]he was also the most chic woman I have ever known.” Challenging the sanctity of heterosexual dominion, Capote is suggesting that the gendered strictures of who makes the money (men) and who doesn’t (women) might not be as enriching as the romance between a gay man and straight woman,” wrote Wasson. “This isn’t because he believed platonic relationships were somehow ideal, or because he considered straight people bores, but because in 1958, with wives across America financially dependent upon their husbands, being a married woman was a euphemism for being caught.”

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