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"A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" By Betty Smith.

1036 words - 4 pages

This compelling, coming of age novel revolves around the Nolan family, which consists of Johnny, his wife Katie, and their two children, Francie and Neeley. Eventually, there is a third child, Annie Laurie. The family is close in spite of their home in the slums of Brooklyn and constantly fight poverty. In particular, the novel traces the growth and development of Francie from a little girl to a young insightful woman.The novel begins with an explanation of Francie's outlook on the world around her. As a young girl of eight, Francie's life revolves around the neighborhood, particularly the candy store, the junkyard, the school, and the butcher's shop. Her keen interest in reading also takes her to the library every day, and she usually checks out one or two books. Despite Francie's father's drunkeness, he has a big heart, and genuinely love his family. Francie's mother is very practical, teaching her children the importance of saving money and education in one's life.Despite Francie's surroundings, she is a gracious child with a love for knowledge. As a result, she has developed a wisdom beyond her young years, displayed in her actions. Although, she has several difficult experiences during the novel. She is forced to come to terms with death and dying when her father passes away; and she also has a horrible experience with a sex offender. Fortunately, neither of the incidents leaves her permanently scarred.This story is filled with comedic incidents relating to Francie's aunts. Francie often turns to these two aunts when she is seeking answers to her questions. They are definitely contributors to her maturing process, which is closely followed throughout the novel. Ultimately, Francie is able to overcome the challenge of growing up in a poor, lower class neighbourhood.Betty Smith, was born December 15, 1896, the same date as, but five years earlier than, her fictional heroine Francie Nolan. As a daughter of German immagrants, Betty grew up poor, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the world which she creates for the previously mentioned Francie Nolan. It can be said that she was trying to write a fictional autobiography of her life, because like Francie Nolan, Betty Smith left school at an early age and worked at a succession of low-paying factory and clerical jobs. Similarily to Francie, Betty enrols in the University of Michigan as a special student, without a high school diploma, with aspirations of become a great writer. After obtaining the background of Betty Smith's life, one cannot help to believe that the story is truthfully about Betty Smith, rather than one, Francie Nolan.Betty Smith's purpose of writing the novel, was to develop a fictional character, based on her growth into adulthood. She is able to do so, using evidence from five spans of her life discussed in Francie's growth and maturity. The first section serves as an introduction where the key characters are introduced, and the poverty in which the Nolans live is fully...

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