A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Quotes

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Quotes

Quote 1: "Everyone said it was a pity that a slight pretty woman like Katie Nolan had to go out scrubbing floors. But what else could she do considering the husband she had, they said." Chapter 1, pg. 10

Quote 2: "Francie knew that mama was a good woman. She knew. And papa said so. Then why did she like her father better than her mother? Why did she? Papa was no good. He said so himself. But she liked papa better." Chapter 1, pg. 33

Quote 3: "Before they went to bed, Francie and Neeley had to read a page of the Bible and a page from Shakespeare. That was a rule. Mama used to read the two pages to them each night until they were old enough to read for themselves. To save time, Neeley read the Bible page and Francie read from Shakespeare." Chapter 6, pg. 49

Quote 4: "Maybe that decision was her great mistake. She should have waited until some man came along who felt that way about her. Then her children would not have gone hungry; she would not have had to scrub floors for their living and her memory of him would have remained a tender shining thing. But she wanted Johnny Nolan and no one else and she set out to get him." Chapter 7, pg. 56

Quote 5: "Those were the Rommely women: Many, the mother, Evy, Sissy, and Katie, her daughters, and Francie, who would grow up to be a Rommely woman even though her name was Nolan. They were all slender, frail creatures with wondering eyes and soft fluttery voices...But they were made out of thin invisible steel." Chapter 7, pg. 68

Quote 6: "She was made up of all of these good and these bad things...She was the books she read in the library...Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk...She was all of these things and of something more...It was something that had been born into her and her only." Chapter 8, pg. 71

Quote 7: "Oh, God, don't send me any more children or I won't be able to look after Johnny and I've got to look after Johnny. He can't look after himself." Chapter 9, pg. 81

Quote 8: "I must watch myself very carefully...I am going to love this boy more than the girl but I mustn't ever let her know. It is wrong to love one child more than the other but this is something that I cannot help." Chapter 10, pg. 94

Quote 9: "Francie didn't notice that he said my last home instead of our last home." Chapter 14, pg. 122

Quote 10: "Francie sat on a chair and was surprised that it felt the same as it had in Lorimer Street. She felt different. Why didn't the chair feel different?" Chapter 15, pg. 131

Quote 11: "Besides, she said to her conscience, it's a hard and bitter world. They've got to live in it. Let them get hardened young to take care of themselves." Chapter 18, pg. 142

Quote 12: "She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered 'different.' She did not suffer too much." Chapter 20, pg. 160

Quote 13: "From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood...On the day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived." Chapter 22, pg. 164

Quote 14: "In the future, when something comes up, you tell exactly how it happened but write down for yourself the way you think it should have happened. Tell the truth and write the story. Then you won't get mixed up. It was the best advice Francie every got." Chapter 26, pg. 196

Quote 15: "That's what Mary Rommely, her mother had been telling her all those years. Only her mother did not have the one clear word: education!" Chapter 27, pg. 204

Quote 16: "Growing up spoiled a lot of things." Chapter 28, pg. 214

Quote 17: "Most women had the one thing in common: they had great pain when they gave birth to their children. This should make a bond that held them all together; it should make them love and protect each other against the man-world. But it was not so. It seemed like their great birth pains shrank their hearts and their souls. They stuck together for only one thing: to trample on some other woman." Chapter 29, pg. 234

Quote 18: "She'll be my wife, someday, God and she willin." Chapter 33, pg. 259

Quote 19: "Frances stood numb. There was no feeling of surprise or grief. There was no feeling of anything. What mama just said had no meaning." Chapter 36, pg. 277

Quote 20: "From now on I am your mother and your father." Chapter 37, pg. 293

Quote 21: "Francie wished adults would stop telling her that. Already the load of thanks in the future was weighing her down. She figured she'd have to spend the best years of her womanhood hunting up people to tell them that they were right and to thank them." Chapter 39, pg. 318

Quote 22: "'Maybe,' thought Francie, 'she doesn't love me as much as she loves Neeley. But she needs me more than she needs him and I guess being needed is almost as good as being loved. Maybe better." Chapter 39, pg. 326

Quote 23: "And Francie, pausing in her sweeping to listen, tried to put everything together and tried to understand a world spinning in confusion. And it seemed to her that the whole world changed in between the time that Laurie was born and graduation day." Chapter 41, pg. 342

Quote 24: "'This could be a whole life,' she thought. 'You work eight hours a day covering wires to earn money to buy food and to pay for a place to sleep that you can keep living to come back to cover more wires. Some people are born and kept living just to come to this...May be she'd never have more education than she had at that moment. Maybe all her life she'd have to cover wires." Chapter 43, pg. 358

Quote 25: "'We're too much alike to understand each other because we don't even understand our own selves. Papa and I were two different persons and we understood each other. Mama understands Neeley because he's different from her." Chapter 44, pg. 381

Quote 26: "Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost." Chapter 48, pg. 413

Quote 27: "And he asked for her whole life as simply as he'd ask for a date. And she promised away her whole life as simply as she'd offer a hand in greeting or farewell." Chapter 52, pg. 450

Quote 28: "It's come at least...the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache... they walk out in all innocence and they walk right into the grief that you'd give your life to spare them." Chapter 53, pg. 453

Quote 29: "But, then, so many things seemed like dreams to her. That man in the hallway that day: Surely that had been a dream! The way McShane had been waiting for mother all those years - a dream. Papa dead. For a long time that had been a dream but now papa was like someone who had never been. The way Laurie seemed to come out of a dream - born the living child of a father five months dead. Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true and was it that she, Francie, was the dreamer?" Chapter 55, pg. 467

Quote 30: "So like papa...so like papa, she thought. But he had more strength in his face than papa had had." Chapter 56, pg. 481

Quote 31: "A new tree had grown from the stump and its trunk had grown along the ground until it reached a place where there were no wash lines above it. Then it had started to grow towards the sky again. Annie, the fir tree, that the Nolans had cherished with waterings and manurings, had long since sickened and died. But this tree in the yard - this tree that men chopped down...this tree that they built a bonfire around, trying to burn up its stump - this tree had lived!" Chapter 56, pg. 483

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