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"Truman Capote was one of the most famous and controversial figures in contemporary American literature" (Literature 2). Truman Capote had a harsh childhood and did poorly in school. However, his amazing ability to write stories and his manner with words allowed him to escape his misery. Capote had a unique lifestyle, and his writing has been influenced by important events during his upbringing. Truman Capote uses his life experiences to describe characterization and setting to develop the story in Breakfast at Tiffany's and "A Christmas Memory."
Truman Streckfus Persons was born on September 30, 1924 in New Orleans, Louisiana. "During the first six years of his childhood, the boy frequently was handed off to the care of relatives by his carefree and irresponsible parents" (Magill 319). Persons constantly moved from one relative's house to another. This caused a confusing atmosphere for the young boy and added to his insecurity. "Following his parents' divorce in 1931, [he] spent most of his time in Monroeville until his mother remarried in 1932 to Joseph Capote" (319). Persons officially became Truman Capote and went to live in New York. Truman Capote always struggled as a student. Capote attended various private schools, such as "Trinity School and St. John's Academy" (Literature 1). His parents thought he was retarded and encouraged him take an IQ test. To his parents' surprise, Capote scored on the genius level of test. However, he could not stand the tedious classes and homework. Becoming more and more frustrated, he gave up. Capote dropped out of school and began working for The New Yorker magazine. "He served as a copyboy and file clerk" (Magill 321). Working in the publishing environment introduced Capote to the art of writing.
Capote started out writing short stories such as "A Christmas Memory," and "A Tree of Night." Capote was always writing and enjoyed the lift it gave to his depressing life. According to William L. Nance, "The most obvious thing to be noted about Capote's early work is its highly personal quality" (Contemporary 13). Because Capote had such an interesting and unique childhood, he always had something to write about. His ideas came from his own experiences, and most of his characters resemble someone who greatly influenced his life.
Capote had written many different types of literature. He has written multiple novels, short stories, essays, and plays, among other varieties of literature. Capote's first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was published in 1948. "Within a decade, it became apparent that Capote's novel was a piece of a new pattern in fiction, one that was described by terms such as narcissistic, grotesque, symbolic, and aesthetic" (Contemporary 19). Capote continued writing short stories and other works of a different nature from Other Voices, Other Rooms. One of Capote's most well-known novels, Breakfast at Tiffany's, was published in 1958. After Breakfast at Tiffany's, Capote continued his writing success with the publication of his In Cold Blood in 1966. "In Cold Blood contributed to the development of a new genre, the nonfiction novel," and achieved great praise from its readers (Contemporary 19).
Alcoholism, drug addiction, and homosexuality have also been a part of Truman Capote's life. "In his last years, Capote was subject to frequent bouts and recuperations from his many substance dependencies; he had a chaotic personal life" (Magill 322). Alcoholic lifestyles are depicted in many of Capote's literary texts. Also, acceptance of homosexual behavior is expressed in some of Capote's works. For example, in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly expresses her understanding for lesbians and states that she would even consider one for a roommate. Although Capote did suffer through these addictions and being a homosexual, his exact cause of death is unknown. Capote died on Aug
Quotes talked about in this paper
Names mentioned in this research paper
Capote, Holly, Holly Golightly,
Locations mentioned in this paper
New York City,
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Truman Capote, Holly, A Christmas Memory, Breakfast, New York, Christmas, Holly Golightly, New York City, short stories, Truman Streckfus Persons, American literature, apartment building, Magill, minor character, Cold Blood, contemporary, Edgar Allan Poe, characterization, New Yorker magazine, Christmas season, a decade, a life, phony, a minor, a dream, Another place, A woman, calms, other people, nonfiction novel, homosexuals, homosexual behavior, tabby cat, picture, expensive taste, young boy, IQ test, New Orleans, bare trees, lifestyle, right away, personal life, frosted glass, private schools, Los Angeles, drug addiction, early work, old days, quietness, black door,