Study Guide

Breakfast at Tiffany's Chapter 18

By Truman Capote

Chapter 18

  • Holly continues to get ready for her trip, but the narrator has to do most of the preparation since the apartment is being watched at all times. When Holly gets out of the hospital, she firsts stops at the bank and then heads to Joe Bell's bar where she sends a message to the narrator to bring her guitar, her toothbrush, some brandy, and her cat. He does as she asks, packs up all the stuff she wants, and then treks to Joe's bar in the rain. It's a dreadful walk for him as the bags fall apart, he drops her perfume and some of her jewelry, and the cat scratches him.
  • When he finally gets to the bar, Holly wants to toast with the brandy, but Joe wants no part of it. He's worried about Holly's escape plan and he doesn't want to celebrate what he thinks is a horrible, horrible mistake. But then a limo shows up and it turns out that Joe has hired the car to take Holly to the airport (he's really just a big softie). When she tries to thank him, Joe hands her some flowers, wishes her a quick good-bye, and hurries off.
  • Holly and the narrator climb into the limo and head to the airport. When they reach a part of Spanish Harlem, Holly tells the driver to stop the limo, which he does. It's "a savage, a garish, a moody neighborhood garlanded with poster-portraits of movie stars and Madonnas. [And] Sidewalk litterings of fruit-rind and rotted newspaper were hurled about by the wind […]" (18.11).
  • Holly gets out of the car with the cat and tries to get him to run away: "This ought to be the right kind of place for a tough guy like you. Garbage cans. Rats galore. Plenty of cat-bums to gang around with. So scram" (18.12). The cat won't leave and instead looks at Holly as if he doesn't get what's going on. She tells him to "beat it!" (18. 12), but he still won't leave. So she finally yells at him, "I said f*** off!" (18.2), and then gets back in the limo and tells the driver to drive.
  • The narrator is "stunned" (18.13) by this and he tells Holly, "You are a b****" (18.13). She tries to justify her actions by reminding him that she and the cat never belonged to each other, but even she isn't convinced by this, and when the limo stops at a red light she jumps out and tries to find the cat.
  • She can't find the cat anywhere, so she and the narrator get back in the limo (he ran after her when she jumped out) and she finally admits that the cat really did belong to her: "Oh Jesus God. We did belong to each other. He was mine" (18.16). The narrator promises to find the cat and to take care of him, and this is when Holly finally admits that she's scared: "'But what about me?' she said, whispered, and shivered again. 'I'm very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing what's yours until you've thrown it away'" (18.18). As she gets ready to head to Brazil, Holly finally realizes that her life frightens her.