Literapedia Book Notes for

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote


  • Narrator (part 1)—the supposed author of the book, and the neighbor/friend/admirer of Holly Golightly.
  • Joe Bell (part 1)—the owner of a bar around the corner, took phone calls/messages
  • Holly Golighty (part 1)—the star of the book, follows her life in the brownstone and Narrator’s interest in her life
  • I.Y. Yunioshi (part 1)—sent photographs from Africa of wood sculpture (possibly of Holly), photographer, Holly rang bell when lost key
  • Fred (sec 2)— Holly’s brother, a soldier now
  • Sally Tomato (sec 2)— a member of the Mafia in prison, visited by Holly, lawyer arranged it- Mr. O’Shaughnessy
  • O.J. Berman (sec 3)—Holly’s agent, left him, but still friends
  • Rusty Trawler (sec 3)—an “orphan, millionaire, celebrity,” life spent marrying and divorcing, lover of Holly
  • Mag Wildwood (sec 3)— the friend & roommate of Holly’s (after annoyance at entering party), double dates with Holly
  • José Ybarra-Jaegar (sec 4)— the fiancé of Mag Wildwood first, Brazilian diplomat
  • Madame Spanella (sec 9)—a person who hates Holly, wanted kicked out of brownstone
  • Doc Golightly (sec 9)—the fourteen year old Holly’s hillbilly husband from Tulip, Texas

Chapter Summaries

Part 1: Joe Bell calls Narrator to look at pictures Yunioshi took in Africa. Talk about rumor of Holly Golightly and recollect about old times.

Part 2: Narrator’s memories of Holly Golightly
  1. Introduction to Miss Holly Golighty, Traveling, rings bell of annoyed Yunioshi, dropped off after date with Sid Arbuck
  2. Holly starts to ring Narrator’s bell when forgets key, Narrator sees bird cage, dries hair on fire escape while singing with guitar, Holly enters his room from fire escape, read story out loud, tells him about Sally Tomato & her visits
  3. Narrator invited for drink in apartment, Berman talks of Holly’s rise to actress/or not, and how she left for New York City, party of people arrive, Holly explains mean reds, and comfort of Tiffany’s, Mag Wildwood enters and interrupts party
  4. Mag Wildwood rooms with Holly, Narrator overhears Mag & Holly discussing Jose, discuss Brazil and whether she’s in love
  5. Gets story published, Holly finally congratulates & prepares to celebrate
  6. Celebrate, go to Joe Bell’s, talk of childhood, collected peanut butter, pointed out bird cage, stole masks
  7. Narrator gets job=less time, speaks of quartet(holly and rusty & mag and jose), follows Holly into library, watches her
  8. Christmas Party, receives bird cage from Holly, gives a St. Christopher’s medal, Holly tells of winter trip with Rusty, Mag, & Jose, left Mag & Rusty in Key West in hospital for Havana, desire to hit while rubbing oil on Holly
  9. Resolved not to talk to each other, Madame Spanella, Narrator followed/met country old man (Doc Golightly) watching Holly, tells story of Lulamae Barnes aka Holly Golightly, , got information from Fred, reunites with Holly
  10. Holly talks to Narrator at Joe Bell’s of Doc, explained how she does still love Doc, and not divorced, but left him to leave bus station
  11. Rusty Trawler marries fourth, Mag Wildwood. Holly demolishes her apartment in grief of Fred’s death, (KIA note from Doc)
  12. stops calling Narrator Fred, Jose moves into her apartment, Holly becomes homemaker, cooked, doing stuff for him cures the mean reds (no tiffany’s needed), spends time with Narrator when he’s gone
  13. Plan to leave with Jose, rode horses, Narrator’s horse gets spooked & fleas, Holly tries to catch with mounted policeman, Narrator hurt
  14. Holly arrested as connection between Sally and O’ Shaughnessy, used as tool through which can send messages, article in paper, arrested in Narrator’s bathroom, led by Madame Spanella
  15. Joe Bell gets Narrator to call Holly’s friends to help her
  16. Catches intruder in her apartment when enters to feed cat, Jose’s cousin is packing his stuff to leave Holly’s apartment, gives Narrator a note for Holly
  17. Narrator visits Holly in hospital room, roommates think he’s her downfall, gives Holly the letter, reads after applying make-up, tells leaving her because she is involved in a scandal- looks bad for him. Holly tells of her plan to use Brazil ticket and escape her charges with Narrator’s help- pack her bags, etc
  18. After Narrator’s preparations, Holly leaves hospital, goes to bank, then to Joe Bell’s, Narrator & Holly leave for flight, Holly dumps cat then realizes that they “did belong to each other”, hopelessly try to find it- can’t, and leave
  19. Received one postcard from Holly, fulfilled promise and eventually found her cat for her

Book Note Creator

Madison Rabb, '08