Achieving The American Dream In A Tree Grows In Brooklyn By Betty Smith

Great Essays
Inevitable Illiteracy “Knowledge is Divine” is a popular saying that has implemented itself in our culture, passed down from generation to generation. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is a novel that discusses the necessity of a hearty education and how the lack of it can prohibit one from achieving the American Dream. The book talks about a young girl from the slums of Brooklyn named Francie who is the daughter of Katie and Johnny Nolan and the sister of Neeley Nolan. It goes through the conflicts and experiences of the family who come from a poor background and suffer in several ways to reach their goals in life. One of the many hurdles they face is the lack of education. The obstacle in the way of achieving the American Dream that …show more content…
Not only can it change your life, but it can alter your roots. It has the strength to change who you are and what you believe in. For example, look at the nurse from the hospital. She pushed her way out of Williamsburg by learning and studying her heart out but lost her self-worth and forgot where she came from. She was embarrassed by her own people and that was what Katie feared. She feared that if Francie becomes educated and intelligent, she would be ashamed of her own Mama and her habits, “But when she gets educated, she will grow away from me. Why, she's growing away from me now. She does not love me the way the boy loves me. I feel her turn away from me. She does not understand me. All she understands is that I don't understand her. Maybe when she gets education, she will be ashamed of me—the way I talk” (Smith 131). A big part of Katie’s American Dream was to have a family whom she could rely on. This very purpose was fading away but not because of the lack of education but rather, with it. While Katie was afraid of her daughter being humiliated at the way she talked, Francie on the other hand was shunned upon because of the way she talks herself. Francie is taught of the Bible’s and Shakespeare’s writings yet when she expresses her love for the subject in her own language to her friends, she is ignored and officially deemed an outcast, “She yearned for playmates but did not know how to make friends with the other little girls. The other youngsters avoided her because she talked funny. Owing to Katie's nightly reading, Francie had a queer way of saying things. Once, when taunted by a youngster she had retorted, ‘Aw, you don't know what you're saying. You're jus' full of soun' 'n' furry siggaflying nothing’” (Smith 69). The fear of being left out is a characteristic for both mother and daughter as that is a big part of their ambition. Being more or less than the average standard or varying the slightest from

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