A Comparison Of Racism In A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

1050 Words 5 Pages
Back then, there were many things that were completely different from how they are in today’s life. The book, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, reflects on the time period of the early 1900's, as a girl named Francie grows up with the struggles of living in a poor family during this time period. A few of the many things she faced includes racism, sexism, defective education systems, as well as child labor and an almost moneyless childhood. In today’s culture, many of the things faced back then are quite infrequent or do not even happen at all as a result of developing the nation. Generally speaking, when comparing the time period in the book, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and the early 2000's (present-day), there are many differences as well as a few similarities …show more content…
In the book, Francie insults a Hebrew without even knowing it because she grew up with it and did not think it was offensive. As in the book, Francie says, “'Gimme a penny sheeny pickle.' The Hebrew looked at the Irish child with his fierce red-rimmed eyes, small, tortured and fiery.” (45) In modern day culture, there is still racism, yet it is much less severe and lot less rare than that of in the book. Likewise, if you are racist, it is denounced and looked down on, as opposed to back then when it was accepted. In addition, segregation still existed in this time, however it is not shown in the book. Another big part in the book with racism was near the beginning when the kids bullied a jewish white boy, saying, “I know that kid. He's a white Jew.” (19). To put this into context, the kids were making fun of another boy because of his race and religion. Obviously, this is not accepted today and the kids would get in trouble. However, the adults did not care as much and would let it slide in the early 1900’s. As bad as it was, racism has gotten better over the years, and people are really accepting other races and religions into their …show more content…
Many people in the book were sexist, mostly towards women, and would degrade women regularly. Johnny, Francie’s father, was a main character in the book that had also been very sexist. In one scene of the book he was very against women voting, as he states that, “Women don’t know anything about politics” (187). Gender equality today is nothing like this, in fact, even gays and transgenders are becoming widely accepted in the community. Furthermore, if you were anything but male, you were sure to be ridiculed in this time period. To add more onto Johnny’s sexism, he also states further on in the book that Sargent Mcshane’s wife should die so that he can “-marry a cheerful healthy woman who’ll give him children that can live. That’s every good man’s right.” (186). This was a very common way of thinking back then, in fact, some people still believe this same philosophy today, although, once again, it used to be more severe than it is today. Women were actually segregated from men in a way, as it is shown in the book during voting day. “January 2nd was ladies day at democratic headquarters” (188). This right here is what segregation between genders was like, women had to have their own day because men did not believe in women voting. After 100 years though, women have made a stand for their rights, and now have just as many rights as men do today, in

Related Documents