The following context comes form Breakfast at Tiffany's page 17. After Mr. Arbuck sent Holly home, but Holly closed the door in his face. Then Arbuck said:

"Hey, baby!" he said, for the door was closing in his face. "Yes, Harry?" "Harry was the other guy. I'm Sid. Sid Arbuck. You like me." "I worship you, Mr. Arbuck. But good night, Mr. Arbuck." Mr. Arbuck stared with disbelief as the door shut firmly. "Hey, baby, let me in, baby. You like me, baby. I'm a liked guy. Didn't I pick up the check, five people, your friends, I never seen them before? Don't that give me the right you should like me? You like me, baby."

My question is why it's "don't' but not 'doesn't' in the bold sentence? As 'that' here represents the fact that Arbuck pick up the check for Holly and her friends.

  • 1
    "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is a work of fiction. The character is a crude and violent man who speaks in ungrammatical English. Constructions like I never seen and Don't that give me are Capote's way of presenting this character. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 12 '16 at 1:28

This is dialogue from a novel. That means it's how people talk. How they really talk, y'know?

Different social strata have different speech anomalies. In some, don't is used instead of doesn't in the 3rd person singular, presumably because it sounds more informal.

I'm surprised you didn't pick up on the other dialectical oddities, especially

Didn't I pick up the check, five people, your friends, I never seen them before?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.