Symbolism in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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There are four main themes of symbolism in the novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. All of the symbols are centered around the love the Nolan family shows to each other, and the hope and willingness to create a better future. All of these things may seem small to most, but to Francie Nolan, these four things were the most important objects in her childhood; the tree of heaven that grew in the courtyard of the Nolan’s final house in Williamsburg; the tin can bank where they would save five cents a day to buy land; the library where Francie would check out books; and her father, Johnny’s pearl studs that her mother, Katie, gave him as a wedding gift. All four of these things positively shaped Francie’s life forever. In the last apartment the Nolan’s lived in, there was a tree in the courtyard growing out of the cement. In the opening chapter Francie calls it the tree of heaven. She tells the reader that this type of tree will only grow in the poorest neighborhoods and can stay alive even in the poorest of circumstances. This tree thrives in the cement with no fertilizer and little water. The tree of heaven represents the strength and the ability to thrive living insider all of the immigrants that inhabit this neighborhood. They have the amazing ability to survive with very little food and money for necessities. Just as the tree the narrator decribes, the residents of Francie’s neighborhood in Williamsburg must survive eating inadequate food, working the hardest jobs with the worst pay, and waering thin, worn clothing that did little to keep out the bitter cold. These people strive solely on the hope that in the next day, week, or month of their lives, things wills tart to get better. No matter how hard things get, they continue to have the will to keep the hope alive. In the final chapter of the novel, while Francie is packing up to move to college, she looks out her

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