A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by Betty Smith

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What makes Mr. Morton and Miss Bernstone special in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

Quick answer:

What makes Mr. Morton and Miss Bernstone so special is that they are Francie's favorite teachers and all the children adore them.

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Mr. Morton and Miss Bernstone may be minor characters in Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but they're rather important and special to everyone, as they're some of the kindest and nicest characters in the novel.

Mr. Morton is the music teacher; he comes once a week to Francie's class, and pretty much everyone enjoys his presence. He's described as always smiling, happy, and joyful—all of the schoolteachers find him attractive, and the kids always dress up when he comes to class.

Miss Bernstone is the drawing teacher; she's very gentle, kind, and compassionate and likes all of her students and treats them equally, regardless of their social status. Unlike Mr. Morton, however, the other schoolteacher don't really like her that much, because they're jealous of her charisma and beauty as well as her good relationship with the students. The kids like her because she's always nice and sweet and wears pretty dresses. Miss Bernstone also comes only once a week, like Mr. Morton.

Mr. Morton and Miss Bernstone are Francie's favorite teachers, and she even says that the reason she likes school and finds it bearable is because of these two. She wishes all of the other teachers and students were as kind as them. She says that Mr. Morton and Miss Bernstone are the

gold and silver sun-splash in the great muddy river of school days.

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