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Truman Capote’s Hollywood Essay

The things which surround a person can be interpreted with many different meanings by different people—thus, what may be an ordinary object for one person may entirely be significant or can also be hateful for another. The emotions and memories we connect with objects are but products of our background history, personalities, and way of thinking. Because of our different and diverse personalties and experiences, it is but natural that there are no two persons alike—even twins who look so much alike can have different perceptions on things.

What is the significance of this reasoning? It lies in the conclusion that people should accept that the world is diverse, and thus, they tend to look on one single thing with multiple meanings. This conclusion is important in this essay as we relate it to the element of light used in Truman Capote’s account of some experiences entitled Hollywood. The essay will focus on that belief—that the most ordinary of things in our world may seem so shallow and materialistic, but in actuality, there is a deeper meaning of profundities underneath it.

In Truman Capote’s Hollywood, the light of Los Angeles (or more particularly, in the glamorous and sometimes crazy place called Hollywood) can hold different meanings for different people—it may symbolize the existence of dreams or ambitions, and it may also mean the superficiality of some things. Capote’s Hollywood The composition which is to be used in this essay is Truman Capote’s own writing and is supposedly a real account of his own personal experiences with the live city of Hollywood.

Truman Capote is a known person in the said place since he has written and rubbed elbow-to-elbow with Hollywood’s greatest stars and bigger-than-life personalties—Audrey Hepburn being one of them. As Capote is a writer (and a very famous one at that), it can be concluded that he may have been an intellectual and creative person. Thus, it is inevitable that such intelligence and creativity would show in his written account, Hollywood.

The composition itself is very simple and offers many allusions and metaphors that, if a person is to carefully analyze everything, then these allusions and metaphors can be seen. One of these is the element of light and how it serves a totally different meaning with each different scene and each different point of view of the narrator and the characters who are being narrated about: “During the drive the sky has grown ash-colored… Thelma giving her delicate feathered hat a protective touch, grumbled at the possibility of rain” (Capote, 351).

What is most interesting is the fact that the perception of both the narrator and the characters are contrastingly different from each other, and this can all be proven by how they are affected by the element of light. The Impact of Light In the first scene of the re-telling, the narrator and one character were in an airplane on their way to Hollywood. However, before that, let us establish the fact that Hollywood is such a great place of the rich, as many actors and actresses and other people related to the greatest entertainment industry of America would live there or work there.

Hollywood is probably what the sweetest stuff dreams are made of as everything seems so magnificent, glamorous, and just plain rich. What is its connection with the first statement of this paragraph? It has something to do with the knowledge that like Las Vegas, the bright lights people expect to find in Hollywood are usually not so bright; and the idea people have of Hollywood are what the sweetest stuff dreams are made of. Sometimes. they can turn into horrible accounts of a nightmare. As what happened in Thelma’s case, the first character is introduced in the re-telling by Capote.

Thelma, as what so many other people perceive, think that Hollywood is the glitzy place of success and easy money made by and used by the rich and the famous. But what people often discover is that the bright lights were not so bright after all, and in fact was never there in the first place. The bright lights that they were seeing is the light of hope that he or she can achieve something, but it is never the lights of Hollywood—it is the bright lights of sweet success which people usually associate with being rich and famous—in Hollywood.

The next account is that once people arrive in Hollywood, they realize that things are not what they appear to be. If the absence of light is what other people experience (like what happened to Thelma), other people experience that there is indeed the presence of light, but at times, it is so blinding that the brightness of lights causes a person see what is the reality of things. Take for example what happened to Capote when he was contemplating on the fruits.

With the help of the glaring lights, things which are fake or made-up are perceived to be genuinely real and yet they discover too late that the object was falsified. Of all the many accounts in Capote’s re-telling in which the light was used, this was what most attractive and appealing—that of the old father who was basking in the rays of the sun during Christmas. In the earlier scenes, the artificial city lights were used to depict shallowness and materialism of the place, but at the ending of the re-telling, the light served a different meaning entirely—that of happiness and hope.

There was something so enthralling and affectionate in how the father basked in the light of the sun and how he was affected by it. Conclusion In conclusion, let us go back to what the introduction of this essay pointed out—that there are things which are not perceived the same way as how other people perceive those things to be. As to how the element of light was used in Capote’s work, he was implying a different connotation to it as to compare to the other characters like Thelma or the salesgirl from the fruit stand.

One thing may entirely be different from another, and there is no choice but to accept the diversity of things. The impact of the element of light in Capote’s re-telling may be different per person, but one thing stands the same—all the characters stood by what perception they had of the light of Hollywood until the very end. Works Cited Capote, Truman. “Hollywood. ” Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology. Ed. David L. Ulin. New York: Library of America, 2002. 351–356.


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