A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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How is Francie Nolan, the protagonist, a dynamic (changing) character, like how does she generally change in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As Francie Nolan grows up she becomes more objectively aware of the deprivation and the generally unfair conditions of working-class life. From the start she sees the defeated, fatalistic attitude of her alcoholic father, Johnny, but accepts it as inevitable, like a force of nature. As he tries to explain to her the reasons for his drinking, she patiently answers, "Yes, Papa," and at this point she's too young to understand the deeper reasons for his fatalism. But within Francie, even at this early stage, there is a will to get beyond the poverty of her milieu and to flourish in her own way.

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Further Reading:

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jellowwwww | Student

Since this book jumps back and forth from generation to generation, we can see how Francie grows up and matures if the book was placed in chronological order. She learned many things which allowed her to have her own beliefs, thus she becomes dynamic to her surroundings.

Examples are when she started off as a shy, lonley girl, weak, and innocent. At the end, she becomes independent, outgoing, brave and strong. She becomes a stronger woman through what she learned in her past.

The tree symbolizes Francie. If you haven't noticed, the tree is exactly like Francie. The tree liked poor people = Francie does not mind being poor. The tree grew in wherever possible = Francie perseveres and keeps strong like the tree.

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aurora101 | Student

She becomes more confident, strong and wise as she grows.  The many experiences she goes through teach her to stand up for herself.

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