This is topic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is One of the Best Books Ever in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
Except for the anti-semitic attitudes in it.
The interesting thing about the book is how it deals with issues that effect us in this day and age, but a lot has changed when it comes to how they are handled.
Take this scene where Francie got attacked by a child molester. I don't think in this day and age a doctor would drug a child and tell her it was a dream.
Wouldn't that have a damaging effect on the child in the long run?

Also, I don't know why people think it's a good thing to stigmatized a woman who has had a baby before marriage. To me it doesn't seem like it would be good for her child and makes me think of why 20 Things Adoptive Parents should Know About their Adopted Children.
Could that attitude of shame have caused a lot of problems folks adopted in the 50s and 60s had as they grew up?
*Continues to reread*
Posted by jeeshkid (Member # 9885) on :
I hated that book. There were 70 pages on a day where the girl woke up, picked up scrap metal, sold it, and bought candy. I had to read it for school. It has put me off books called clasics.
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
Great book. But, probably not for young kids. Read it again when you are 21.
Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
It's really good though.
It has so many intense issues like poverty and how poverty was viewed, alcoholism, adoption. A lot of the stuff is dated like how they celebrated holidays and the like, but there's still a timeless quality to it.
Classics can be a bit hard to digest at times, but they really make you think and try to figure out the foundation of things and that's why they are valuable.
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is One of the Best Books Ever
No argument from me.
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is One of the Best Books Ever
No argument from me.
Same here.
Posted by Bella Bee (Member # 7027) on :
I was nine when I first read it. That book taught me the existence of contraception, and the use of symbolism, among other valuable things.

I really loved it. I don't re-read it all that often, but when I do, I love it all over again. I'm grateful that I never had to read it for school, though. That process ruins everything.
Posted by dawnmaria (Member # 4142) on :
Some of my all time favorite books were the ones I had to read for school and this was one of them. I try to collect 1st editions of all my favs and I haven't been able to get one for this title yet. I did find a very cool hard back edition that has the author on the back cover asking everyone to buy war bonds. i also loved The Good Earth and Lord of the Flies. Then there was An American Tragedy and The Scarlett Letter which both stunk on ice!
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
I actually prefer Tomorrow Will Be Better. However, ATGIB does, as my father (a Brooklynite born and bred) points out, prove that a tree does grow there. Just the one, though. [Wink]
Posted by Mrs.M (Member # 2943) on :
I wholeheartedly agree. I don't remember anti-Semitic attitudes. I do remember Francie thinking that Jewish women look proud and happy when they're pregnant because they think they could be carrying a little messiah, but I didn't think that was ugly.

I haven't read it in years, though, so maybe I'm forgetting something.
Posted by plaid (Member # 2393) on :
I don't remember the anti-Jewish bit, but it's been, what, 10 years since I read it. I do remember an anti-German comment -- something about Francie shuddering when she sees some German immigrants and thinks something about how... "organized" or something like that they are, and it gives her unease (this part happening during WW I; IIRC, the book itself came out during WW II).
Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
I loved the book, but some of the Jewish characters were portrayed a bit harshly like when they went out to buy their mother a hat.
Then you have the way the Chinese fellow was portrayed, but what can you do? It's set in 1912, and things have changed a lot.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Ela, you're probably thinking of Joy in the Morning or Maggie-Now.

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