A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

"A Tree Grows In Brooklyn": A Battle for Education 9th Grade

Ignorance can become a mostly curable condition when those in need are granted access to a proper education. Francie Nolan, the main character of the novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, was born into a life full of many challenges and few opportunities. Francie and her brother, Neeley, have to overcome the many obstacles of growing up amid poverty. Indeed, the most challenging obstacle that Francie must overcome is her lack of knowledge, and her lack of access to education based on her poverty and family history.

Francie’s family hindered her on her journey toward overcoming ignorance. Francie’s grandmother knew the importance of education, but, despite all her efforts, her children received little education. On page 63, the author tells us that the grandmother “grieved when her children had to leave school after sixth grade and go out working.” Francie’s mother should be an important role model who aids in her education through life, but has little education herself. Her mother had to teach her to read, while barely being able to do so herself. On page 430, Francie reminds herself, “‘My grandparents never knew how to read or write. Those who came before them couldn’t read or write. My mother’s sisters can’t read or...

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