Betty Smith isn't well known for her many works, but the one book that almost everyone has heard about, is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In this novel she shows herself to be an author of great depth and knowledge; she gives us a peek into the complex human soul. This book gives great insight into life; it shows why many people strive to become someone better and how some people are able to move up to a better station in life even though there are tremendous odds and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn touches everyone's' hearts.
It is about a little girl, Mary Frances Nolan (also known as Francie), growing up in the poorer part f Brooklyn with a drunken, singing waiter for a father. This father somehow always makes her feel so special and "normal". She lives with her severely realistic mother, her father, and a brother(Neeley) who is privileged as the "favorite child". Francie is treated poorly throughout school because she is so different and independent.
Francie always kept to herself and was the silent studious type, which deepened the division between herself and the other of the At a very young age Francie learned how important money is as well as the division in society caused by money as well as education. Because of this division and Neeley's favoritism, Francie becomes the sole provider for the family after the her father's death. She goes to work straight after graduation from grade school and never gets to have the pleasure and luxury of a high school diploma, but that doesn't stop her from her dreams.
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Her dreams of moving up in the world, to a place were you don't have to worry about where your next meal comes from; a place where money doesn't necessarily make you rich. This may sound like a ridicules dream considering that today a high school diploma is mandatory for veryone. At this point in time; however, very few people, without wealth, were able to get a higher education or even be able to go to high school.
Yet nothing can stop Francie from completing her dream. This wonderful book cuts right to the heart of life. It show the true American dream; the dream of higher education and a better and equal way of life for everyone. The novel tells this dream through one special girl who realizes that she can be and do better. If you don't read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will be denying yourself a rich experience of the true American dream.
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