A Tree Grows In Brooklyn Analysis

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Innate Goodness of People "Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness" (Pablo Casals). In literature, people are often shown as basically good, but with flaws that are more obvious to the other characters in the story. Betty Smith shows that people are innately good, although every person has weaknesses that they must overcome. In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Francie, Johnny, and Sissy prove that people are innately good even with their shortcomings. Firstly, Francie’s major flaw was her dishonesty, but she was a dedicated person who loved her family and tried her best to help provide for them. She was often tempted to lie when she wanted something, but was unable to acquire it because of her impoverished family. One day,…show more content…
Sissy had three husbands over the course of her life because she blamed each for her inability to give birth to a living baby. However, when the Nolan children were young, she visited them and stole a tricycle for them because she knew they had never ridden one before. When a police officer came to investigate the crime, she managed to seduce him so he not only calmed down the rightful owner of the tricycle, but allowed Sissy to take the children around the block a few more times until eventually returning the tricycle. When Sissy learned that Francie’s teacher would not let her go to the bathroom because she was poor, Sissy pretended to be Francie’s mother and told the teacher that Francie had a kidney infection, so she had to be allowed to go to the bathroom. After Katie tells her that Mary Rommely instructed her to read her children a page from the Bible and from Shakespeare every night, Sissy decides to acquire the books. At a public library, the librarian told her that she could have a book of Shakespeare which was going to be thrown out anyway. However, Sissy had to steal the Bible from a hotel. Sissy spent the night in a hotel with a married man, and while she was there, she found a Bible, which she was told was for people to take home to read, and then return it.…show more content…
An example of Johnny’s drunkenness occurred when the Nolans still lived on Bogart Street. Johnny celebrated his twenty-first birthday by drinking for three days straight. The next day, he was suffering from withdrawal and screamed and whimpered so much that he shamed the family enough that they had to move to a new apartment. Katie was worried about the fact that Sissy found out about Johnny’s drunkenness, but Sissy knew “‘everybody’s something. We all got a tag of some kind’” (Smith 102). However, Johnny’s alcoholism never interfered with his love for his children. When the children were young, he brought Francie and Neeley, along with a three year old neighbor, on a fishing trip, even though he himself did not know the slightest thing about fishing. Despite the fact that they fell into the cold ocean water, the children had the time of their lives, mainly due to Johnny’s optimism. Another instance of Johnny’s undying love for his family occurred just before his death. His wife, Katie, was pregnant with their third child, who would be named Annie Laurie. Johnny tried to make the biggest sacrifice he could by giving up alcohol. The most haunting case of Johnny’s devotion occurred after his death. He arranged for Sissy to give Francie flowers from him on her graduation because he wanted Francie to know he loved her, even if he forgot to buy the flowers. Johnny was a

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