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MonkeyNotes-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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Chapter 29

Summary Johnny decides to take Francie and Neeley on a one-day fishing trip to the coast, for they have never seen the ocean. He plans to take Tilly, a neighbor child, along. Johnny has always felt sorry for little Tilly because of Gussie, his older brother, who was not weaned until he was four years old. As a result, Tilly feels left out and different.

Although Johnny has never gone fishing before, he pretends like he knows everything. Unfortunately, the trip is not very successful. The picnic ends with Tilly falling into the water. In addition, all the children are lobster-red from sunburn. When they return home, Katie sharply criticizes her husband for the children's condition.


Notes

This chapter is filled with humor. Although Johnny knows nothing about fishing, he decides to take his two children and the neighbor child on a fishing outing. He tries to act like an experienced fisherman, but the trip turns into a disaster, with Tilly falling into the water and all the children getting a terrible sunburn. When they return home, Katie is unmerciful to her husband in her criticism of his ineptness. Poor Johnny has not the vaguest idea as to why things went wrong on the fishing trip; he asks himself, "Why, oh why hadn't it turned out the way it did in a song?" He was only trying to be close to his son and daughter and show them that he cared about them.

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