The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on
major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical
In "CliffsNotes on Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, " you
explore life in early 20th-century Brooklyn as you follow the
maturation of Francie Nolan and her family, which includes a
hard-drinking father and the economic cost associated with that.
But no matter the struggles that Francie encounters on her way to
becoming an independent woman, her tenacity in creating the best
life for herself that she can is inescapable. Ultimately her
determination to succeed is like the tree that grows in the
courtyard where Francie grows up, a tree called the Tree of Heaven,
which always grows, regardless of whether or not it is watered, and
which symbolizes the strength to survive, just as Francie
This study guide carefully walks you through Francie's journey
by providing summaries and critical analyses of each book of the
novel. You'll also explore the life and background of the author,
Betty Smith. Other features that help you study includeAn overview
of the novelA list of characters, including analyses of major
charactersA character map that graphically illustrates the
relationships among the charactersAnalyses of major themes and
symbolsA glossary of important terms and phrases from the novel
Classic literature or modern-day treasure -- you'll understand
it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study
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