Looking for Holly

Looking for Holly

Holly Golightly lives in a brownstone in upper east side, Manhattan. It’s the early 60’s and Holly doesn’t have a job, but entertains wealthy men, whom adore her and shower her with jewelry and Givenchy dresses. Is she a prostitute? Truman Capote wrote the novella, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and describes Holly, not as a prostitute but, an American geisha. Holly meets a new tenant in the brownstone, who is the narrator. We see Holly through his eyes. He doesn’t hold disdain for her lifestyle, but does find it curious. Holly names him Fred, because he reminds her of her brother. Fred could be described as a prostitute, himself. He accepts money from an older woman, to support him as he writes. The two are lost in their lives. Holly has to throw everything away, to realize how important things are to her. She’s one of my favorite, classic movie, characters. Originally, Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly, he thought shed be perfect for the role. Lee Strasberg advised Monroe against playing a “prostitute” so, she declined. We can all agree that the film doesn’t depict Holly as a pro. She’s the new modern, woman. A lot of ladies were used to develop the character of, Holly. Capote joked it was the “Holly Golightly Sweepstakes”, as women tried to say Holly was based on them, including: socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, Oona Chaplin,writer/actress Carol Grace, writer Maeve Brennan,writer Doris Lilly,model Dorian Leigh (whom Capote dubbed “Happy Go Lucky”),and her sister, model Suzy Parker. Holly is most likely a collection of all these lovely, ladies. The real Holly may have been based on Capote’s mother. Both came from rural areas and became NYC “cafe socialites”. We may never know, but what we do know is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a classic movie, staple and some of Capote’s best work.


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