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MonkeyNotes-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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Chapter 3

When Johnny, Francie's father, returns in the evening, he is disappointed to learn that his wife has gone to a movie with her sister, Sissy. He asks Francie to iron his apron, for he is going to work as a waiter for a wedding reception. As Francie irons, she listens to her father thinking aloud about how he is worthless and cannot look after his family properly. Seeing Francie's saddened face, he changes the subject and talks about taking her on a vacation, which makes his daughter happy. When Johnny departs for the wedding reception, Francie admires how smartly he is dressed. She proudly walks with him until the trolley arrives and takes him away.


Notes

Francie's father, Johnny Nolan, makes his appearance for the first time in this chapter. Though he never has a steady job, he is pictured as a man who loves his wife and children. The absence of his wife on his return home even disappoints him.

In spite of his weaknesses, Francie loves her father, believing him to be handsome and filled with personality. In fact, she would do almost anything to please him. She eagerly irons the apron that he needs to wear for his work as a waiter. As she irons, she listens to him talk, knowing that he needs to speak aloud his inner feelings. Johnny rightfully feels that he is a failure as a husband and a father. During the week, he spends much of his time drinking instead of working. Although he talks about his shortcomings, he seems to do nothing to overcome them. Francie does not hold his failures against him. She enjoys spending time with him and proudly walks with him to the trolley.

In this chapter, the first mention is made of the fact that Francie feels closer to her father than her mother. She has not described her mother with the same warmth she uses to describe Johnny. Additionally, she tells how her father always lets her window- shop, while her mother does not want her to waste her time.

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MonkeyNotes-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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