"That is what Mildred Grossman had in common with Holly Golightly. They would never change because they'd been given their character too soon; which, like sudden riches, leads to a lack of proportion: the one had splurged herself into a top-heavy realist, the other a lopsided romantic."

Source: Breakfast at Tiffany's

What is the relationship between one getting suddenly rich and the characteristics of the two characters? And what is a top-heavy realist and a lopsided romantic?

1 Answer 1


Ever heard of sudden wealth syndrome? It refers to the adjustment issues that occur when an individual suddenly gets rich. It leads to a lack of proportion in that the sudden riches tend to magnify specific qualities and faults in that individual. These qualities are things like, stress over money, jealousy, stupid decision-making and so on.

Likewise, suddenly being giving their character has led to specific qualities in Mildred Grossman and Holly Golightly to be magnified; realism in the case of Mildred and romanticism in the case of Holly. These qualities have been intensified to such a degree that both characters now appear disproportionate.

The third definition of top-heavy in Merriam-Webster's dictionary is oversupplied with one element at the expense of others : lacking balance. And check out the second definition of lopsided from Merriam-Webster's dictionary. It is: lacking in balance, symmetry, or proportion.

So we can conclude that lopsided romantic here means that Holly's romanticism is magnified to the point that it is out of balance, symmetry or proportion with the rest of her personality. And top-heavy realist here means that Mildred's personality has been oversupplied with realism at the expense of other characteristics to the extent of lacking balance.

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