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MonkeyNotes-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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BOOK IV

Chapter 43

Summary Neeley finds work as an errand boy at a brokerage house. Francie takes a job making stems for paper roses. Although it is backbreaking work, she manages find a rhythm to it, making the work tolerable. When she begins to work faster than the others, her co-workers criticize her, saying that she is simply trying to please the boss. Francie is hurt, for she wants to fit in and resents the other girls making fun of her. Then during lunch, Francie manages to break the ice, by relaxing and laughing at a comment made by one of the boys. From then on, some of the girls befriend her, making the job more pleasant.

On Saturday, Francie and Neeley want to do something special for Katie, for each of them has received a week's pay of five dollars. They decide to create a new tin-can bank for their mother. They put their earnings into it and present it to Katie. Neeley also gives her a box of Loft's peanut brittle. Katie is overwhelmed and goes to her room in order to hide her tears.


Notes

The children have no difficulty finding jobs. Neeley goes to work as an errand boy, earning five dollars a week plus tips. Francie's job at a paper flower factory also pays five dollars a week. Although her work is menial, she goes about it with diligence. Soon she is working faster than all her co-workers, who criticize her for trying to please the boss. Upset by their derision, Francie decides that she must relax and try to be more like them. When she laughs with the others at lunch, they finally accept and befriend her.

The first salary earned by the children is a memorable event. With their earnings in hand on the first Saturday, Francie and Neeley want to do something special for Katie. They decide to make her another tin-can bank, a flashback to a much earlier chapter when Katie was able to save money towards buying some property. Neeley has also bought his mother some candy from the money he has earned in tips. Katie is so pleased with the children that she has to go into her room to hide her tears of joy.

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MonkeyNotes-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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