Literature Study GuidesBreakfast At TiffanysSection 11 Holly Stays In New York Summary

Breakfast at Tiffany's | Study Guide

Truman Capote

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Breakfast at Tiffany's | Section 11 (Holly Stays in New York) | Summary



Holly Golightly and the narrator have several drinks at Joe Bell's bar the following morning. She explains she never divorced Doc because she doesn't think the marriage is legal. After all, she was underage when they wed. She then confides that she and Doc slept together the previous night. She's slightly embarrassed about it, but the narrator simply tells her she's "the most amazing person."

Doc tries to get Holly to go home with him. After explaining, "Doc, I'm not fourteen any more, and I'm not Lulamae," she realizes she is still the same girl she used to be. Drunk, she tells Joe to "never love a wild thing" before raising a toast to Doc.


No matter how hard Holly Golightly tries, she can't escape who she really is. She may be living the high life in New York, but she's still the little girl "stealing turkey eggs and running through a brier patch." Now she's running from man to man, taking $50 at a time and suffering the "mean reds." She is the "wild thing" she cautions Joe Bell about—someone who can't be tamed, even with all the love in the world.

Doc loves Holly and Holly loves Doc, but they love one another in different ways. Doc has a mixture of romantic and paternal feelings for Holly. He wants to protect her, coddle her, and go through the rest of his life with her by his side. Holly, on the other hand, loves Doc because of his kindness and "the confidence he can give to birds and brats and fragile things like that." She views him more as a parent than a partner. She is the child in the relationship, and after a year in his care she was ready to strike out on her own. It may seem strange that Holly rekindles this type of relationship with Doc by sleeping with him, but sex is a tool for Holly, not a declaration of devotion. She usually uses it to please and appease her wealthy dates, but in this case she sleeps with Doc to show her affection and appreciation for all he has done for her. This is the only way she knows how to repay him for his love.

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