Consider how Blake Edwards presents issues of identity and possession in ‘Breakfast with Tiffany’s’


In this essay I am going to analyse the different techniques Blake Edwards used to present issues of identity and possession in the film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ .


‘Breakfast with Tiffany’s’ is a film that was produced by Blake Edwards in 1961. Colour films had just come out and hit Hollywood. Audrey Hepburn was chosen as the main actress for the film. Audrey was chosen as the main actress because she is a tall and beautiful character, this is vital for this role in the film ‘Breakfast with Tiffany’s’. George Peppard is paired opposite Audrey Hepburn. George Peppard plays the part of Paul who in the end falls madly in love with Holly. I think George Peppard was chosen as the main actor because he has a strong manly build and he looks like a typical New Yorker. This is important to the film because the film is based in New York so the characters would have to resemble typical New Yorkers. The film is a romantic film, which contains lots of sweet romantic music.


The scenes of identity and possession I am going to analyse are based upon the following events:-


How the cat represents conflict that Holly believes exists between love and ownership. How Holly wants to call Paul, Fred because he looks like her brother. How Holly is always losing her possessions, which symbolises her inability to keep or hold on to possessions. How she tells Paul that her real name is Lula Mae and not Holly. How Holly feels that she will be locked up in a cage if she falls in love. When Holly and Paul go to the toyshop, they are trying to hide their identity.



The cat represents conflict that Holly believes exists between love and ownership. We know that Holly feels this way as she says “poor slob, poor slob without a name. I do not have the right to give it him one. We do not belong to each other. I do not want to own anything until I find a place where things and I go together. This shows us that Holly feels she does not own the cat and she will probably give the cat a name when she is rich and famous.


Holly calls Paul, Fred, when they first meet. Paul automatically feels an attraction towards Holly, when Holly springs the question on him. “Do you mind if I call you Fred”. Holly says this because she thinks Paul looks like her brother, Fred. Holly has not seen her brother in years. In the end, I think Paul is annoyed at Holly and wants her to call him Paul. I know this when Holly’s agent is talking to Paul and calls him ‘Fred Baby’.


Holly is always losing her keys. This symbolises her inability to keep or collect any possessions. She says, “Don’t want to you to think I’m a girl who loses her key, so I had 26 of them made”.


Holly is always losing her keys because she never hangs on to items or possessions. She also has very few items or objects in her flat because she feels that she will own items when the time is right and she is married to a very rich person.


“You just moved in, too, huh?” (Paul)


“No. I have been here about a year.” (Fred)


Holly‘s real name is Lula Mae. She had this name when she was married to Doc. When Doc comes to find Holly, he talks to Paul and tells Paul the truth about her. “Her name isn’t Holly. She was Lula Mae before I married her; I’m her husband Doc Golightly.” I think Holly changed her name because she felt insecure and wanted a new life away from Doc and her old life. At this point, Paul has a very different perspective on Holly’s life and he eventually falls in love with Holly.


If Holly falls in love, she is afraid she will be possessed and so she will be kept in a cage. “Nobody’s going to put me in a cage… it’s the same thing… I am not Holly and I am not Lula Mae either. I’m like the cat, we