Writing Techniques in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is loosely constructed, anecdotal, digressive and episodic rather than carefully plotted.

There is occasional foreshadowing, as in the saga of Francie's promiscuous Aunt Sissy's attempts to have a baby.

Sissy finally succeeds after bearing nine stillborn infants and adopting one who turns out, it is hinted, to be her third husband's illegitimate child. But Smith is not interested in subtlety and most of her attempts at plotting are heavy-handed and obvious. Francie's development provides the book with its central structure and around this are stacked other related stories about the Nolan family and their neighbors.

Almost all of this is told with energy and good humor. Smith writes in the plain style of the vernacular of Brooklyn with its slang and ungrammatical constructions. Even the omniscient narrator speaks in a simple, slangy way, injecting exclamatory statements to emphasize dramatic events...

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This section contains 212 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Short Guide
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