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Breakfast at Tiffany’sis a heart-wrenching tale following a New York socialite, Miss Holly Golightly, in the late1950s trying to find a place she feels comfortable, the way she feels at Tiffany’s. The narrator in the book remains nameless but falls head over heels for Miss Golightly even when it is clear that she wants to marry rich so she will be content for the rest of her life. He became curious when he hears her buzzing all the tenants in their apartment building for a way in at early hours in the morning. Accompanied by strange, obviously wealthy men, she would push them out painlessly as they were also obviously infatuated with her. When the narrator finally meets Holly, he finds her to never be content in one place. Although she has lived in her apartment for well over a year, there is no furniture, and the card on her mailbox reads “Miss Holiday Golightly, traveling”. Most of all, the cat that lives with her is named “Cat” since she believes she has no right to name it if it doesn’t belong to her and she doesn’t belong to it. So much of Holly can be described this way because she’s afraid of settling in or staying in one place for too long.

The way Breakfast at Tiffany’s starts signifies just how much Holly imprinted the people she meets. The narrator begins explaining that he hadn’t thought about her in a really long time until the bar owner, Joe Bell, heard from Mr. Yionishi, the tenant above the building, who heard it while traveling in Africa. Even the absurd potential that Holly was still alive gave Joe Bell hope and some new reattachment to the idea of her. OJ Berman, Holly’s good friend who found her in “hill billy country” and taught her manners and how to act in front of company so that she could become a movie star. When she tells OJ she doesn’t want to be in film, he doesn’t get upset. Instead, he describes to the narrator that she is a “real phony. She believes all the crap she believes” (30). In the end, the love for Miss Holly Golightly remains unrequited as she still tries her best to marry wealthy and she moved away from New York. She imprints him and changes him for the better, and when he realizes this he moves on with his life.

The film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” directed by Blake Edwards was critically acclaimed and received four out of five stars. It is clear from the first part of the movie who Miss Holly Golightly is as she is seen eating breakfast and looking into the window at Tiffany’s. The narrator this time given a name, Paul Varjak, gets caught up in Miss Golightly when he moves into the building and needs to borrow a telephone. It becomes clear from the beginning that they will be good friends and she describes to him how it feels to be at Tiffany’s with everyone wearing suits and treating you nicely. In this version, however, Edward’s decides to show Paul as merely a character and not the narrator, making him less curious about Holly. When Paul falls in love with Holly, he is fully aware and gladly encourages it. Holly decides to marry a very wealthy Brazilian man and it breaks Paul’s heart. When the marriage doesn’t work out, Paul meets up with her and tells her he loves her hoping that she will change her mind. Holly flips out and throws the cat out of the car in the pouring rain before she realizes that she also loves Paul. The movie ends there, Paul, Holly, and Cat hugging in the rain.
Overall, the changes in the movie, I felt were used for a conservation of time. The narrator in the book was given a name in the movie, which was such a major difference. Being nameless made the reader realize the focus of the book was not on the narrator himself but just how complex the character Holly Golightly was. As well, the casting in the movie was amazing. The man who played Paul Varjak, George Peppard, had the right amount of charm and believable unluckiness. He paired very nicely with the character Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn was another amazing actress and really contributed overall to the story as her seemingly simple but extremely complex character shined through. Another great thing about the film was the moment when Holly realizes that she wants to spend the rest of her life with Paul and the rain came down and it was as if the realization of the movie really set in.
Overall, though, the book was slightly better. I appreciated the non-Hollywood ending and the more realistic way that Holly left him in the end. It is more like Holly to be distant and leave after a falling out than to stay and fall in love. Holly, however sweet seems more likely to selfishly leave. The movie would have been better if it could have included all of the scenes in the book because there was quite a bit left out. Truman Capote’s writing was exquisite and really captivated the reader into wanting to learn more about Miss Golightly. Definitely worth your while to read and watch.




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click here to watch the Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) trailer.