A Tree Grows in Brooklyn A Tree Grows in Brooklyn question


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Setting, Characterization, and the American Dream
Felicia Felicia Apr 24, 2018 12:18PM
I’ve taken a Fiction Appreciation class in which we read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and discussed the novel in its entirety as a class. Throughout discussion and after we completed the novel, opinions varied on the merits of the work, especially including the characterization of Johnny Nolan. This character provided so much insight into my family history that I grew a new appreciation for relatives I had not considered in the same light before. Can anyone relate?

Francie Nolan’s story is one of struggling childhood and poverty in early 1900s New York. How does A Tree Grows in Brooklyn help you consider the importance of Francie’s childhood in comparison to other immigrant childrens’ stories in that time period? Do you think today’s youth in poverty have a similar experience?

Education as a means of improving one’s social class was so deeply ingrained into American culture and that sense of self-improvement, or the American Dream, still exists today. Do you think this notion is as true today as it was then?

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!



Absolutely not, unfortunately children of poverty look to modern day heroes to emulate Seems like every little boy I speak to would like to be an NBA star, or a rapper, little girls fascinated by princesses,Barbie,sparklyfingernails,and the Kardashian’s ! This is a condition of constant images that are thrown at them whereas in this book this type of imagery did not exist Education is just not the priority used to be


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