Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 2014: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Meeting Details: We are meeting at Stephanie's house (see email for address - note that I have moved since our last meeting at my place!) on Thursday, September 11 at 7:30pm, with discussion to begin at 8:00 pm. We will be discussing all of the short stories in the book, focussing primarily on Breakfast at Tiffany's, but also touching on House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar, and A Christmas Memory.
Discussion Questions:
Breakfast at Tiffany's:
1. Did you like the book? If so, what was your favourite part? If not, why not?
2. What is home? Why does a sense of home always seem to elude Holly?
3.  Why do you think that breakfast at Tiffany's, the luxury jewellery store on Fifth Avenue, eases Holly's "mean reds" and induces a feeling of calm?
4. Holly was a rather controversial character. If this tale took place in the 1970s instead of the 1940s, do you think Holly and her activities would have been so controversial?
5. Do you feel sympathy for Holly being taken advantage of by people such as "Sally Tomato" or do you dislike her for taking advantage of others?
6. The narrator spotted an expensive antique bird cage on display and later Holly surprises him by buying it with the instruction to "never keep a living thing in it." She also makes reference to "never love a wild thing." Do you think Holly feels trapped or caged up? How do you think this birdcage affects the plot? And how does that change when it it later put in the rubbish?
7. The introduction of Doc Golightly shines a new light on Holly. How does the narrator's friendship with Holly alter after Doc's arrival?
8. What of the narrator and the bar man Joe? Why were they so entranced and affected by Holly, even after she has disappeared? 
9. If you could write an alternate ending for the novel, what would it be and why?
10. Why do you think the narrator remains unnamed? 
11. Which secondary character do you think is most important to the story? Why?
12. How might our perception of Holly be different if the novel was told from her point of view?

House of Flowers
13. Why are Rosita and Baby surprised that Ottilie will not return to the city with them? 
14. Why is it significant to their bond that Royal and Ottilie are both country people, and both believe in voodoo?
15. Why does she stay with him after he has punished her?

A Diamond Guitar
16. Given the description of Mr. Shaeffer, why do you think he is drawn to Tico Feo? 
17. What details of description and character intensify the emotion of this love story?

A Christmas Memory
18. How does the scarcity of money bring out the creativity and generosity in these two friends?
19. The old woman realizes, after they fly their kites together, that she doesn't have to wait for death to see divinity: "I'll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are...just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes. (141)" Why is this insight especially relevant on Christmas? Why, when the boy later hears the news of her death, does he feel that it 'severs from me an irreplaceable part of myself, letting it loose like a kite on a broken string (142)"?

20. Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why  not?

Based on the title of the book, and unless there are any objections (I haven't entirely finished reading at the time of writing this email), we will be eating a variety of breakfast foods!

Waffles - Tessa
Doughnuts/pastries - Sherrie
Fruit - Erica
Baked oatmeal and yogurt - Karen
Cinnamon buns - Melissa
Breakfast Bake - Tamara

Drinks - Stephanie

There's no need to stick to the list above, just email or comment with what breakfast food you would like to bring and I'll add it :)


  1. I will be the unhealthy one and come with delicious cinnamon buns!!

  2. Provided allergies don't take me out, I will bring a breakfast bake (taking care of the eggs and bacon stuff!)

  3. Hi!

    We'd prefer you link us directly, instead of just copying our discussion questions. It gives us traffic, and respects our copyright. Thanks!


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