A Tree Grows In Brooklyn Analysis

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a novel published in 1943 written by Elizabeth Wehner who later changed her name into Betty Smith. The author, in her work, manages to trace the foundations of a metaphor about life through the simple experiences of the protagonists’ everyday life, and thanks to symbolic elements that recur throughout the entire book. The novel is divided into five books which covers different ages of the characters. While the book one, three, four and five explores the life of Neely and Francie, the second book focuses on the figure of the mother and father: Katie and Johnny. Never give up seem to be the motto of Smith’s story. Francie

The language used in the novel is highly figurative. One of the main symbols is the Tree of Heaven:“… A tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots […] and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly […] That was the kind of tree it was. It was like poor people.” It grows from sour ground out of the sewer. It only grows in the poorest of neighborhoods and it grows no matter how poor the circumstances are. It symbolizes hard-work, perseverance, the tenacity and the strength of the poor inhabitants of the neighborhood, who survive with little food or money. In the novel, as in real life, it can be seen that like the tree that does not receives enough nourishment, the people who lived in Williamsburg survive in extreme poverty. Many of them live
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