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MonkeyNotes-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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Chapter 47

Summary Since the family no longer reads the Bible and Shakespeare every night as earlier, Francie brings home the newspaper from work for Katie and Neeley to read, and the three of them spend their evenings discussing the war, which the United States is sure to enter soon. One evening they read an article about the death of a fireman, who turns out to be Sissy's first husband.

Katie and Francie go over to Sissy's house where they learn that Sissy is to receive her first husband's insurance money of five hundred dollars. Sissy's current husband is furious because he had thought that he had married a divorced woman, but now he realizes that Sissy has never legally divorced her first or her second husband. He starts shouting at her, and, for the first time, insists on being called by his real name, Steve, instead of John. In the end, Sissy receives a proper divorce from her second husband and marries Steve legally, whom she realizes that she truly loves. After remarrying Steve properly, Sissy informs Katie that she is pregnant again. This time she is certain that the child will not die.


Notes

The picture of Sissy presented in this chapter is tragic, but humorous. Without ever telling anyone, she has been married to three different men at the same time. Then within a ten day period, she is widowed from her first husband, divorced from her second, and married legally to her third. She also finds out that she is pregnant again and feels confident that this baby will be healthy.

When Sissy's husband finds out that she has not been legally divorced, he is furious. Always portrayed as a weakling for allowing himself to be called John and for accepting a baby as his own that was not his, the change is amazing. When he stands up to Sissy for the first time, Katie appropriately says, "Looks like the Rommelys have a man in the family at last." Sissy realizes that she truly loves Steve and is delighted to remarry him legally.

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