A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Study Guide

Betty Smith

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Course Hero. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Study Guide." Course Hero. 3 Aug. 2017. Web. 18 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, August 3). A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 18, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn/

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Course Hero. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Study Guide." August 3, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn/.

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Course Hero, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Study Guide," August 3, 2017, accessed July 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn/.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Book 5, Chapters 55–56 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 55

The first of the final two chapters resolves myriad events in young Francie's life. She has taken and passed her college entrance exams. With Ben's help and her family's encouragement, she has chosen a university far away: the University of Michigan. She also wears Ben's signet ring, inscribed with their initials.

Francie doesn't know where Lee is, or if he's even alive. The same goes for her Uncle Willie, who disappeared shortly after Granma Rommely died. He'd won ten dollars in a competition as a one-man band, and then he, and his instruments, never came home. It doesn't seem like anyone misses him much.

The family is also preparing to move to Sergeant McShane's house. For Francie, this means saying goodbye for good to her home on Grand Street, and her beloved Tree of Heaven.

Chapter 56

The book ends, fittingly, on a Saturday. The family prepares for Katie's wedding, and the move to the new home. Before Francie leaves her home to attend the University of Michigan, she notices the Tree of Heaven, still growing, despite efforts to kill it. And she sees a young girl sitting on a fire escape across the way, just as she used to do. She whispers, "Good-bye, Francie" and shuts the window.

Analysis

Francie will always belong to Brooklyn, long after she has left. That's because she carries it with her, in her bones and in her character. She is made up of everything that's happened, and everyone she knows. That is Brooklyn.

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