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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
This section contains 334 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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The central theme of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the great story of life triumphant against adversity, which probably accounts for its spectacular popularity. Francie Nolan is the protagonist in a bildungsroman. Francie's life grows as the symbolic tree grows, pushing through the cracks and rubble that oppress tenement life. She is eleven when the novel opens and seventeen at its close and she spends the intervening six years discovering who she is, that she is different from the other slum children and destined for a better life than they are. Since this is the coming-of-age of a girl rather than a boy in a novel about "serenity" nothing really bad is allowed to happen. For example, as Francie passes through puberty the shadow of sexual threat appears but is dispatched cleanly: Katie Nolan shoots the child molester who corners Francie in the dark...

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This section contains 334 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Short Guide
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