The novel “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” by Truman Capote, is about a story between an unnamed narrator who becomes friends with a gold digger named Holly Golightly in 1943. Freedom is a very important element in the story for the main character. The author represents the freedom of Holly by making metaphors in the story and showing her the point of view about freedom. In the story, Holly needs a lot of freedom as the unnamed narrator explains. The first metaphor that represents the freedom of Holly is the cage.
The narrator explains that Holly “couldn’t bear to see anything in a cage” by avoiding the visit to the zoo and this sentence represents the meaningful of freedom to Holly (43). A cage is supposed to have an animal inside but Holly cannot bear to see it because she feels that she lacks of freedom inside of a cage. Holly is fear to be imprison by someone just as the situation of a cage. The animal inside the cage cannot move around which prevents the animal from freedom.
After, the narrator and Holly see another bird cage in an antique shop and Holly enjoys to see the cage but after she says “But still, it’s a cage” and this comment makes the readers to understand that even if the cage is very beautiful, Holly cannot bear to lose freedom (44). This time, the cage is for birds, so it represents more freedom because a bird inside a cage cannot fly freely around the world. The situation of the bird is just like the life of Holly because Holly is a girl that wants to travel around and she cannot be inside of a cage where she cannot do whatever she wants.
Holly did buy a bird cage for the unnamed narrator and she also says “Promise you’ll never put a living thing in it” and this passage shows that freedom for Holly is very important just as the two quotations during the date of Holly and the narrator (47). Holly also enjoys her freedom because she is always prepared to travel around with her “suitcases and unpacked crates” without any worry (24). Holly also has the freedom to believe because during the party, O. J. Berman has told the narrator that Holly “believes this crap she believes” (25).
This passage shows that Holly always chooses what she wants to believe even if it does not make any sense. Holly says “Never love a wild thing” to Mr. Bell after the departure of Doc Golightly (59). Holly compares herself to a wild thing that Doc adopted while she was homeless. She continues “Until they’re strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky” and the passage represents that Holly is a wild thing that need to go to get her freedom and a wild thing cannot stay inside a warm house.
For a wild animal, it is the nature to run back to home and to have freedom (59). Holly really loves Doc Golightly but as a young mom and spouse, freedom is much more important to her that makes her runaway even from a warm family where she has no worries. Holly shows the readers that freedom is more important than a stable life with her husband. At the end of the story, Holly ends up with a little freedom after being arrested.
She says “I haven’t much choice” and this quote represents that Holly is seeking for freedom all her life but she ends up with not much choice (81). To conclude, freedom is an important theme in the story because Holly’s life is based on freedom. The bird cage is a huge symbolism of freedom to Holly. Freedom can be in many ways including conscience, family, life. The author is trying to represent that freedom is very important to female back in the time. Freedom, for women, is sometimes more important than family and a stable life.
Capote, Truman. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. New York: Vintage Books, 2012. Print.