Literature Study GuidesBreakfast At TiffanysSection 17 José Leaves Holly Summary

Breakfast at Tiffany's | Study Guide

Truman Capote

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Breakfast at Tiffany's | Section 17 (José Leaves Holly) | Summary



Holly Golightly didn't come home that night, nor the next morning. Fulfilling his duty to feed the cat, the narrator climbs down the fire escape and lets himself into her apartment through the window. José's cousin is in the bedroom, packing José Ybarra-Jaegar's clothes into a suitcase. He doesn't speak much English, but the narrator gathers that José is "planning a powder." José's cousin gives the narrator a letter for Holly, then leaves. The narrator feels terrible for her.


José Ybarra-Jaegar cares more about his career and reputation than he cares for Holly Golightly, so it's no surprise he breaks up with her at the very moment she needs help. He is nicer than the other men she's escorted, but he's every bit as selfish. His callous disposal of Holly infuriates the narrator. Though the narrator never supported the idea of Holly and José moving to Brazil, he never actively tried to stop them. He knows Holly will run away from anyone standing in the way of her freedom, and he can't bear to lose her. He loves her too much to protect her from her inevitable failures, and he feels such empathy for her that he, too, experiences heartbreak when yet another man casts her aside.

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