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Holly Golightly

What more can I say that hasn't been said about Truman Capote's tight, lyrical prose style, concise and illuminating descriptions, brilliant metaphors, crisp and insightful characterization, and biting humor? So I'll just focus on the marquee character of the story, Holly Golightly.

Golightly is an archetype for the female "orphan hick from the sticks" who escapes a dim agrarian existence in search of opportunity in the city using what resources she has--looks, charm, sexuality and guile.

Holly, based roughly on Capote's mother, highlights the struggle of a category of American women rarely addressed in our literature. Poor and unskilled women of this post-World War II era who lacked education had few options but to perform housework or become a homemaker. Holly wanted more. Rags to riches was her chosen path with sex appeal as her chief means of transport. The horse in the book is a strong metaphor;  she was an accomplished "equestrian."

A perfect example of what Holly was aiming for, to marry well, was accomplished by a Polish immigrant, Barbara Piasecka Johnson. Barbara died at age 76 in April, 2013, capturing headlines just as she had when she married a consumer products tycoon who dumped his wife of 30+ years and left Babs the bulk of his substantial fortune. Barbara was a non-English-speaking immigrant example of Holly when she arrived at Ellis Island--poor, attractive, uneducated. And wily. Barbara was more successful than Holly, but then Holly was still in the hunt.

Here's a link to an article describing Barbara: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/nyr...

I readily recognized Holly because she is very much like my mother, one of a precious few things Truman and I share in common.

Capote made Holly even more intriguing by giving her an existential dilemma; she prized freedom as much as she did wealth and was caught in a guilded cage of her own making in the pursuit of wealth through marriage.

There's a little bit of Holly in more than a few women today who want to marry well and they use their looks, charm, sexuality and guile to get them there. Holly is as fascinating to them as she is to men, perhaps more--a "classic."