Breakfast at Tiffany's Section 13

From LitWiki


Holly and the cat

The narrator notices the decreasing mention of Holly in the news and finds himself longing to be with her once again. He reads in the headlines of a newspaper about Sally Tomato's death and how Holly is believed to be in Rio. Holly's "abandoned possessions" are sold, and a man name Quaintance Smith moves into her old apartment. Little is heard of from Holly, until the narrator receives a postcard in the spring. It appears she has met someone new and is looking for somewhere to live. He wishes he had an address in which to write Holly to tell her that he found her cat.


  • Arican Hut (111) - A single story building made up of natural materials usually wood, which is used for shelter or a house.
  • Brazil (110) - The largest country in Eastern South America that was founded by the Portuguese in the 1500.
    Brownstone Apartment
  • Brownstone (110) - Refers to old brick apartment where Holly once lived.
  • Buenos Aires (110) - The largest country in Argentina. Located in the eastern part of the country on the Rio de la Plata. Was founded by the Spanish in 1536. Buenos Aires became the capital of Argentina in 1862.
  • Countersue (110) - Means one party to sue a second party who is already suing the first party.
  • Flanked (110) -Means to be beside someone or something.
  • Gangland Victim (109) - A person who is exploited by underground, orgainized crime.
  • Gossip-Column (109) - A gossip column is a media feature about celebrities' private serects or rumors that has been spread about them.
  • Mille Tendresse (110) - A term translated into English means, mille: thousand and tendresse: affection. Which close in the American speaking tongue to say lots of love.
  • Rio (109) - Rio de Janeiro, a state and a city in Southeastern Brazil.
  • Sing Sing (109) - A prison in New York.
  • Spanish Harlem (110) - Area urbanized by the addition of brownstones and apartment buildings in the 1880's. Predominantly Hispanic, it is also referred to as East Harlem, found in New York City.
  • Two bits (109) - quarter Equal to one quarter.
  • Quaintance Smith (110) - The man that moved into Holly's apartment after she moved out. "...a new tenant acquired the apartment, his name was Quaintance Smith, and he entertained as many gentlemen callers of a noisy nature as Holly ever had..." (Capote 110).


The last section of the novella focuses on the narrator's last regrets concerning Holly. The gossip in the paper dies down and he goes through the months of winter hoping to hear from her. In the time that has passed since she left, a man named Quaintance Smith has moved into her old apartment. He receives far better treatment from Madame Spanella that Holly did. He hosts parties and has the occasional black eye, for which Spanella aids him with "filet mignon" (110).

The headlines in the paper tell of Sally Tomato's death and the disappearance of Holly (109). This sums up the story by having Holly return to her carefree ways by running away again. The narrator seems more worried about where she is than her running away from the law and Sally Tomato's crooked business. Paul Levine writes," there is more than a hint that they form a part of a solid literary phalanx of spiritual non-conformists, of yea-saying rebels whose off-center vision, whose unflagging but unorthodox sense of rightness alienates them from society" (352). Holly Golightly was right in her own way; unfortunately, her sense of rightness didn't hold up in society. It's no wonder that she ran away.

The mention of the Trawlers countersuing for divorce seems to add a humorous turn on the whole affair between Holly, Rusty, and Mag (110). It seems that Mag was only out for money and/or jealousy from the beginning of her affair with Rusty. Holly was not at all affected by their marriage, and proved it by leaving for Rio in search of another life.

After Holly is gone all of her possessions were sold by the owner of the Brownstone. A man named Quantance Smith moves in. Quaintance Smith is considered to be gay. Capote gives his readers a hint when he writes,"...and he(Quaintance Smith) entertained as many gentlemen callers of a noisy nature as Holly ever had..." (Capote 110). Holly was straight and threw parties for male dates. Why was Quaintance Smith throwing parties for men only if he wasn't dating one of them? Pugh Tison writes,"The name "Quaintance" is an allusion to George Quaintance, a painter of the 1940's and 1950's, whose art bordered on soft-core gay pornography" (Tison).

The novella ends with the narrator's hope that Holly has finally found a home, a venture in which her cat has been successful. He regrets most that he cannot reach Holly to tell her about the cat. He expresses that whether it be an "African hut or whatever," he hopes Holly "arrived somewhere [she] belonged" (111).

"The dichotomy of good and evil exists in each Capote character just as the dichotomy of daylight and nighttime exists in the aggregate of his stories" (Hassan). Everyone of Capote's characters either represents a good presence or a bad presence. Toward the end of the novella, the narrator's love for Holly shows when he spends weeks trying to find her cat. Not too many people would do something for someone else that required so much time and effort.

Even though the narrator has all these regrets, he never expresses any remorse about never telling Holly how he really feels about her. He is so excited to hear from her, and has all these things he wants to tell her. So the narrator is still thinking about her and still in love with her, but he has no desire to know what would have happened if he would have told her how he feels.

Study Questions

  1. What is the name of the new tenant in Holly's old apartment?
  2. What happens to her belongings?
  3. What is the one thing he wishes to tell Holly the most?
  4. Who finds Holly's cat?
  5. Where and how does Sally Tomato die?
  6. What day does Sally Tomato die?
  7. What does the narrator promise Holly?
  8. Where does Holly write from?
  9. What does the narrator hope Holly will find?
  10. What is the name of Holly's new friend?
  11. How long does it take the narrator to find the cat?

External Resources

Works Cited

  • Cash, Mathew. The Breakfast at Tiffany's Homepage - A Critical Analysis. 1996. University of Michigan. 14 March 2006.
  • Hassan, Ihab H. "Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature." Vol.1, No.2. Spring, 1960. pp.5-21
  • Levine, Paul. Book Review of Breakfast at Tiffany's/Levine. The Georgia Review/3 (1959): 350-352
  • Pugh, Tison. "Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's." The Explicator 6.1 (Fall 2002): 51-53.

Section twelve | Breakfast at Tiffany's