Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1958)


“Never love a wild thing…If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”

When you say ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s ‘the mind stirs with a rush of images featuring Audrey Hepburn’s charm, George Peppard’s nonchalant coolness, and the frivolity of the 1960’s social scene in New York. It is a movie carved deeply in my heart, so naturally I prolonged reading Truman Capote’s novella out of fear that it would somehow ruin the romantic light that I have allowed to illuminate the movie. As I read Capote’s tale I must admit I felt uncomfortable at first and the sense of foreboding that is set from page one had me on a maniacal edge. I came to appreciate the dark edges of the story that Hollywood blurred out. The mysterious narrator who is so very different from Holly falls in love with her despite his better judgment and we feel for his pain at the careless things she says and does. We feel his apprehension at losing her one day because you can “never love a wild thing”.


Holly Golightly on page is a psychiatrist’s dream and the imprints she leaves on other characters and the reader may be starkly different from Hepburn’s cinematic spell but it is nonetheless equally spellbinding. She is in contrast with the idea of women as delicate flowers; she is cunning and ruthless yet clings to an innocence and childishness that makes us unable to despise her. She is that one girl in the corner of a crowded room that you can’t seem to take your eyes away from. She is the mess that ensues from a child dropping their milk all across the floor. She is there to tease, confound and contradict.

I don’t do spoilers, so please read it for yourself… if not to see the underlying subterfuge of everyone’s beloved character then at least to experience the bipolar rollercoaster of a dreamer trying to recolor a banal world.





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Kamalini Govender

I'm that girl that looks badass in her black boots reading Gothic Psychoanalytic Lit but really just wants to pew pew pew with someone.

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