A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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What is the meaning of the novel's title:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? How does the tree function as a symbol throughout the novel?

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The tree is described in the novel as a continual symbol of growth:

There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn, Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky...

Metaphorically, the tree is Francie, & the other characters who struggle to survive...

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wilmot202 | Student

francie is the tree and it represents how she struggles to live. it represents hope and escaping poverty

aurora101 | Student

It acts as symbolism for the Nolans and other poverty stricken families.  The tree's seeds fell to the ground and no matter where they landed it struggled to touch the sky.

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lordokagi | Student

The tree serves as a symbol for the immigrants of Williamsburg.  Wherever the tree landed it struggled to reach the sky, just like the Nolans.

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