Truman Capote wrote the novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s without a rhyme or a reason. He used real life characters possessing different names. It is stated that the narrator just might have been Truman himself during his early years in New York. It is clear that Mr. Capote does not believe in traditional values. He himself did come from a wealthy unorthodox family life. Capote’s ideal woman was created in Holly Golightly, also known as Lulamae Barnes before she was married as a child bride to a southerner named Doc Golightly. Other people Capote met in his experiences where also included, such as Mag Wildwood (a cunning southern bell from Arkansas who had stolen away Holly’s would be boyfriend, Rusty Trawler.), Sally Tomato (a stock mobster inclined to use innocent girls to fulfill his own needs.), O.J. Berman (a typical Hollywood agent picking up young girls from the mid-west promising them stardom.)
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Joe Bell (a shy bar owner who conceals his feeling about the rambunctious Holly.), and Jose` Ybarra-Jaegar (an eccentric Brazilian politician who was involved with Holly for some time.) All or these characters here used to add depth and local color to the story. The theme of the novel is, friendship can make people take drastic measures in helping a friend, which is explained by the narrator’s relationship with Holly. The narrator goes out of his way to be with Holly, such as horseback riding even though he is uneasy about horses and stealing masks from a costume store. The narrator also tries to help Holly as much as possible by taking care of her one-eyed cat while she was gone and helping her escape from jail. This novel appears to be written for pleasure purposes.
At the beginning of the novel the narrator starts by explaining the friendship between Joe Bell, Holly, and himself. Capote keeps the reader on his or her toes by there being arguments that would create conflicts putting a halt to the friendships between the main characters. Such as when Holly travels to Brazil with Mag, Jose` Ybarra-Jaegar, and Rusty Trawler ( Holly’s current boyfriend before Mag had stolen him away and left Holly grateful , but only for awhile, with Jose`) Then, after all was finished, Holly and the narrator would meet and make up over a drink at Joe Bell’s bar or Holly’s apartment room. The whole novel is based around an eccentric friendship. The friendship is still maintained long after Holly’s apparent disappearance from society.
The literary movement in this story is Authentic Modernism. Authentic Modernism is marked by a strong and conscious break with traditional forms and techniques. It is a means for an author to live out his fantasies by writing about them. It also implies a historical discontinuity, a sense of alienation, of loss, of despair. It rejects history and its society and traditional values. It prefers the unconscious to the self-conscious. “You b-b-boys not vexed at me for butting in on your p-p-party.” was said by Mag Wildwood, one of Holly’s party friends. Another quote from the story showing unconventional technique and humor is Mag saying,” I’ve ten pairs of Argyles in less than three months. And this is the second sweater. What’s the point, though? Sweaters in Brazil. I ought to be making s-s-sun helmets.
Holly Golightly is a nineteen year-old self-sufficient woman. Some of her personality traits are admirable, affectionate, while being sort of cold hearted. She is motivated in life by striving for her purpose in life, which is to be rich and famous while keeping her ego. She believes that love is not sexual. An important action that Holly did was to make peace with the narrator so easily after a fight, this reinforces Capote’s concept of friendship. Other characters responded very well to Holly, she was very easy to befriend. She had a short relationship with the Brazilian politician Jose` Ybarra-Jaegar, but that was ended by her arrest for helping a drug triangle headed by Sally Tomato unknowingly. She was seeing Sally in jail just to comfort him but Sally was really using her to relay information to his drug empire. Holly was a unique character; she was so well liked because she had a peculiar approach to situations.
In conclusion, Capote’s ideal woman was created in Holly Golightly. The theme reached is, friendship can make people take drastic measures in helping a friend, which is displayed by the narrator’s actions toward Holly. Capote used Authentic Modernism brilliantly. Holly was well liked by everyone she came into contact, even though she came across as inconsiderate. Capote creates Holly for his own pleasure and writes her in an unorthodox way. Holly was an unrealistic person in a realistic world interacting with real people is a surreal way.
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