Study Guide

Breakfast at Tiffany's Isolation

By Truman Capote


Isolation, the desire for it, and the fear of it, are central themes in Breakfast at Tiffany's. In many ways, isolation reflects a desire to remain unconfined by close personal relationships since a life spent alone presents no complicated attachments to other people. But too much isolation also proves to be a source of great fear as characters realize that we all desire a sense of belonging at some point in our lives. We see isolation propel some characters and we see it prevent others from ever moving forward in their lives, and it impacts most aspects of the novel.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Is Holly's isolation somehow different from that of the other characters?
  2. Is the narrator isolated in some way?
  3. Does isolation automatically equate to loneliness for the characters?

Chew on This

Isolation is a destructive force since it prevents the development of true connections between characters.

Isolation actually protects certain characters since it keeps them from getting hurt. It's when they relinquish isolation that they experience pain.