American Dream In Betty Smith's A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

879 Words4 Pages
Every immigrant who came to this country in the 1920’s chose the short straw. Everyone faced a hardship whether it was economic, social, or spiritual. Americans then saw this problem and falsely concluded that these people don’t work hard enough to battle their hardships, which is why they cannot move up the social ladder. However, there are other factors such as class to oppress, repress and create a false mindset of the poor. This is portrayed in Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The Nolan’s family class status ultimately works to exclude the Nolan family from achieving the American Dream through restricted knowledge, repressive ideologies, and an unrepresented voice. A major separation between the upper class and the lower class or…show more content…
The lower class doesn’t have the opportunity to express their feelings and achieve reforms. They don’t have this chance because the wealthy oppress them. The poor “[have] the knowledge [they are] small but [they] lack the courage to be otherwise” (20). This example from Smith’s text shows that the poor know they aren’t as powerful as the wealthy but they don’t have the guts to stand up for themselves because they have a fear of not being accepted and ridiculed by the wealthy. Another example from Smith’s text shows that the wealthy are astonished by when the poor speak up for themselves. After Francie is done getting her shot she tells the doctor and nurse that her brother is coming in next and she insists that they don’t need to mock him like they did to her. Smith describes the doctor’s voice as surprised that, “[she] understood what [he] was saying” (20). This portrays the fact that the wealthy don’t expect the poor to stand up for themselves. They don’t expect it because they have no voice in society, which is a key factor in keeping the Nolan away from the American
Open Document