Thursday, February 13, 2014

Holly, Go.

All who wander aren't lost and that saying rings especially true for Holly Golightly in Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffany's. In the novel a young writer moves in to a brownstone in New York City. In this same brownstone lives a Holly Golightly. She's young, fun, spontaneous and never seems to really fit in anywhere--she's always standing out. Her apartment is a mess and still contains suitcases that she she lives out of and she doesn't possess any furniture for guest to sit. in the novel, this young writer (henceforth known as the narrator) befriends Holly and is shown the world from her perspective. However, Holly, never truly belonging anywhere for an extended period of time, leaves the country after being involved (obliviously so) in a drug smuggling scheme. The narrator later sees a photo of a statue from Africa that bears a striking resemblance to Ms. Golightly. 

There is a question that sticks in my mind after reading Breakfast at Tiffany's, and it is simple: Why does Holly wander? She ran away from her older husband when she was 14 and moved to California and right when she was poised to break into movies, she jetted off to New York without notice. It seems as if whenever things begin to get too permanent Holly has to leave. She's like a shark that has to keep moving. It appears as if Holly fears permanence, and never really wants to belong to any one or any where and she simply just wants to be. Someone Holly's age, with no parents, no "real" husband and no ties to any land or anyone besides he brother Fred who is also far from any home because he is in the Army, has the freedom to do as she pleases. She doesn't know what she wants out of life and she's just trying to figure it out by living as freely as she can. 

She finds home in the happiness that she feels either around people or her surroundings, even if she does not realize it. She grew very attached to her nameless cat, only she did not know it until after she dumped "Cat" on the street on her way out of the country. She had this connection to this animal that was strong enough to cause her to feel regret and that has to mean something. Cats, like Holly, are independent animals. They can be housed and fed and kept as pets, but they survive just as well (well, maybe not as "well") as street dwellers, living off of other peoples scraps and the kindness of strangers. But some cats do well in a home, eventually. They settle down and become fat house cats. And that's what I think would have eventually become of Holly if she was a real person. 

It's easy to forget how young she was in the novel and i think her youth can be her valid excuse. Nowadays kids her age go off to college and live on their own for a while and get a sense of who they are, really. Holly Golightly was married at 14 and she felt that life wasn't for her, so she left. And she will not settle for anything less than what pleases her, and i think that's ok.

So go, Holly. Go on and keep searching and home will be something you'll carry with you until your are comfortable enough to set it down. 


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