The most significant character in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is Francie Nolan. A lonely child, Francie avoids close companionship with her peers. Although she is a talented writer and an excellent student, Francie drops out of school at age fourteen to earn money for her family. She later picks up credits in summer school and eventually passes a college entrance exam; she gradually opens up and forms closer relationships with people her own age through her work and her studies.
Johnny Nolan, Francie's father, dies at age thirty-four from alcoholism. A singing waiter by...
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