Literature Study GuidesBreakfast At TiffanysSection 5 Mag Moves In Summary

Breakfast at Tiffany's | Study Guide

Truman Capote

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Breakfast at Tiffany's | Section 5 (Mag Moves In) | Summary



Mag Wildwood appears to have moved into Holly Golightly's apartment. The narrator overhears them talking on the fire escape a few days after the party. They briefly talk about Holly's brother, whom Mag mistakes for the narrator, then move on to the subject of their paramours. Mag says Holly is lucky Rusty Trawler is an American. Her boyfriend, José Ybarra-Jaegar, is a Brazilian with political aspirations. Mag has never been to Brazil, nor does she speak Portuguese. "I must be madly in love," she says to Holly, then asks, "Do you think I'm madly in love?" Holly asks about their sex life, but Mag, who claims she is a "very-very-very conventional person," won't divulge the details. She finally decides she must be in love because she's knit him 10 pairs of argyle socks in less than three months, as well as two sweaters. In a comical touch, she even recognizes that they won't do him any good in Brazil's heat, rain, and jungles. That kind of climate doesn't appeal to Mag, but Holly likes the sound of it.


Love is a game to Holly Golightly and her friends. Though the goal is the same—a financially secure life envied by the readers of society columns—each person plays it differently. For Mag Wildwood, public opinion is everything. It matters far more to her that Holly thinks José Ybarra-Jaegar is attractive and that he and Mag are in love than for Mag to believe the same thing. How her relationship looks is more important than how it actually is. She becomes quite guarded when Holly insinuates that a lackluster sex life indicates larger problems. "You can't possibly be in love with him," Holly says bluntly. Perhaps Mag is a lesbian—her insistence that she doesn't "d-d-dwell on those things," along with her playacting the dutiful girlfriend, indicates her relationship with José is more out of the desire for status and security than actual sexual attraction.

Mag's presentation of herself as a "conventional person" is a stark contrast to Holly's outspoken bluntness. Mag says all the things expected of a lady in the early 1940s: she praises the soldiers, boasts about her own patriotism, and demurs to comment when sex is mentioned. Holly, on the other hand, says exactly what she thinks, even if it's controversial. She has no qualms about calling someone stupid, even if he is her war-fighting brother, and she doesn't shy away from conversations about sex. Holly likes to be controversial—it's how she gets attention. This begs the question of whether Holly really believes the things she says or if she's saying them as a means of building her New York persona. One can never be sure—Holly is a practiced liar.

She's also great at getting what she wants. At the end of the section when Mag is fretting about living in the jungle, Holly agrees with Mag "with a sleepiness that was not sleepy" that she would be better off in Brazil than her friend. Holly—who earlier indicated she is eager to leave the United States—is formulating a plan, and it involves José. Holly is a loyal friend to many, but when it comes to the games of money and love, she doesn't play fair.

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