Breakfast at Tiffany's What's in a Name? Thesis

Total Length: 775 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 1

Page 1 of 3

Breakfast at Tiffany's

What's in a Name? The Characters in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a novella, a short work of fiction that has little more than one hundred pages. One of the devices used by author Truman Capote is the choice of unique and interesting character names. The device allows him to create a sense of time and place as well as portray his characters more vividly. Capote's considerable skill as a writer brings World War II-era New York alive, despite the economy of words required by the novella format.

The story's protagonist first learns about his neighbor by reading the name on her mailbox: Miss Holiday Golightly. The reader knows at once she is a special, almost magical, person who takes nothing seriously in life. "Miss" makes us think of a young, single woman. "Holiday" calls to mind parties, celebrations and time away from work. That she is nicknamed "Holly" makes the reader think of Christmas and all its pleasant associations. "Golightly" suggests to the reader that the character goes through life lightly, both literally and figuratively. In fact, when the narrator later meets her, our expectations are confirmed: Holly is a pixie-ish blonde whom bartender Joe Bell describes as a "skinny girl" with "a flat little bottom" (Capote 9). Not only is her footprint small and light, Holly is also light-hearted.
She speaks in a cheerful, breezy way and does not seem to give a thought to any time but the present. The three sequential "L" sounds in the name Holly Golightly almost seem like singing: la-la-la. Once again, it brings the reader back to the Christmas, calling to mind the carol "Deck the Halls," where "boughs of holly" are used and the chorus is sung "fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la."

As the reader progresses into the story, the sad, dark truth about Holly is revealed. The gaiety and lightness implied with her name contrast starkly with the reality of which we learn. Holly's name is not her own -- she was christened Lulamae Barnes (Capote 66). The story's narrator, as is the reader, is startled to learn that "Golightly" was Lulamae's married name; Holly left the name "Lulamae" behind in Texas with her much-older husband and brood of stepchildren. "Lulamae Barnes" is literally and figuratively thousands of miles and a lifetime away from….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?