Breakfast at Tiffany's: Movie vs. Novella

Topics: Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Novella Pages: 5 (1322 words) Published: April 23, 2014
Angel Carter
Professor Woods
English 152
2 April 2014
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Movie vs. Novella
Writer, Truman Capote, created a goldmine when he wrote the book (turned film) Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Both the book and film center around a 19 year old young woman named Holly Golightly who lives in New York City. Golightly has a high spirit and bright smile, but within she is lonely, and yearning for the love that she needs. The film has a few differences from the book such as supporting characters and scenes, the description of the narrator’s feelings for Holly and the endings which makes it easy to say that the movie was overall better than the book.

In the book, Breakfast at Tiffany's, the reader is unaware of the narrator’s name. However, Capote identifies him as somewhat of a successful writer who eventually falls in love with the main character, Holly. In the beginning of the book, Holly moves into the apartment that the narrator also stays in but is somewhat of a hassle. She has numerous amounts of parties which annoy the neighbors and typically result in her asking them to let her in. Overtime, the narrator develops a friendship with Golightly which teaches him that the sweet, energetic, and boisterous young woman he spends his time with is actually sad, lonely, and confused. Holly has been on her own since the age of 14 and just wants to be happy but living the life that she has she doesn’t know exactly what she wants. At the end of the movie, like the film, Holly is arrested for drug trafficking, and eventually moves to Brazil where she never speaks to the narrator again.

The movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is directed by Blake Edwards and stars Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, and George Peppard as the narrator. Unlike the novella it originated from, the movie identifies the narrator as Paul Varjack. In the book, Paul is a homosexual writer, but in the film he is complete eye candy for every woman in sight. Over time, Paul develops strong feelings for his neighbor Holly which is greatly expressed in two scenes throughout the film beginning with the argument between Paul and his “sponsor.” Not only is this scene not mentioned in the book, but the character is completely made up as well. The addition of this character, who is unnamed in the film, leads the viewer to believe that Varjack is somewhat of a prostitute because his “sponsor,” played by Patricia Neal, does nothing but give him money for doing whatever she wants him to do. The woman even pays his rent. Once he meets Holly, Paul begins to write more and more and gets inspired, which leads him to eventually ending his relationship with his “sponsor” benefiting his career. The argument and ending of their relationship, helped to show how much Paul really cared about Holly and their friendship as a whole. This is a feeling that could not be understood from the novella.

Another scene that offers a look into Paul’s feelings for Holly was their trip to Tiffany’s. Tiffany’s, a highly expensive jewelry store, was Holly’s favorite place to go. At the store, Paul wants to get something engraved for Holly but being that he’s on a tight budget all he could afford was the ring he found inside a cracker jack box. Because it was from Tiffany’s however, Holly did not complain and instead was elated. This scene really showed how much Paul cared for Holly. Being an unsuccessful writer, without a lot of money, one would expect him to do something less costly, but instead he spent his last on something he knew she would love.

Along with showing the narrator’s emotions towards Holly, the movie also adds a bit of comic relief and excitement to the story as well. Characters were both added and removed, as well as the addition and removal of certain scenes to make this happen. For starters, in the novel, Madam Spanella is the one often complaining about Holly’s parties being too noisy, about Holly coming in too late, etc but she is not seen in the movie. Instead,...

Cited: Capote, Truman. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories. Reprint ed. New York: Vintage, 1993
Breakfast at Tiffany 's. Dir. Blake Edwards. Perf. Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard.
Paramount, 1961. DVD.
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