A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Research Article from Literature and Its Times

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by Betty Smith

Betty Smith, in the first novel of her career, presents a picture of Brooklyn that she knew well. Like her main character, Francie Nolan, Smith lived in the slums of Williamsburg. In a show of courage and hope, however, both Smith and Francie managed to rise above their surroundings to achieve the dream that originally drew foreigners toward the shores of America.

Events in History at the Time the Novel Takes Place

Brooklyn, New York. In 1898 the New York state legislature expanded the boundaries of New York City, nearly doubling its population overnight. The new area, Greater New York, was divided into five sections known as boroughs. These included Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Richmond, and the Bronx. To some elderly New Yorkers, the new territories seemed so uncharted that they might as well have belonged to a foreign...

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This section contains 3,986 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Encyclopedia Article
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