A Tree Grows in Brooklyn/YMMV
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- Tear Jerker: Countless examples, some of which include
- Johnny's death
- The scene where Joanna is stoned by the jealous women
- The scene where the children win a Christmas tree, and Johnny helps them bring it up the stairs and leads the entire building in a round of "O Holy Night".
- The moment where Francie realizes that Lee has been playing her
- Tough Act to Follow: Betty Smith wrote three other books, which nobody reads.
- To the contrary. Joy in the Morning is absolutely charming.
- Joy in the Morning was the one every girl in my junior high had a copy of.
- If you can find it (or Tomorrow Will Be Better, or Maggie-Now), and then you have to pay an arm and a leg for a copy in any condition. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the only Betty Smith book still in print, which is a crying shame, as her other books were just as good (and in the case of Tomorrow..., maybe even better).
- Unfortunate Implications: Several ethnicities/nationalities are casually stereotyped, but the Jews probably get it the worst of all. Sometimes it's Positive Discrimination, other times... not so much. Possibly from the filter of naive residents in an immigrant neighborhood that switched from being Irish and German in the story time to mostly Jewish when the story was written, so the writer would be unfriendly to them for 'taking the neighborhood'.
- It's not really that bad. The Germans probably catch more of it because it was written during wartime.
- Plus Sissy scandalizes the family by having her tenth baby in a hospital with a Jewish doctor, citing her faith in Jews' higher intelligence and greater sympathy for women in childbirth. Confirming her belief, her baby is born seemingly dead, but Dr. Aaronstein revives it with oxygen.
- Also, some re-issues of the book edit out an entire paragraph on why Johnny dislikes Russians and Communism (and also show his ignorance of the subjects, as would have been normal for the American Everyman of the 1910s) and replace it with the line "Because we've got Democracy and that's the best there is!" Thanks, publishers, for denying today's youth a great, educational look at our past ignorance, which could have been used to prevent future minds from thinking that way.
- Values Dissonance: The "balloon" incident sounds embarrassing but funny today, but disgraced the Nolans to the point that they had to leave the neighborhood. Smith's original manuscript had Katie and Johnny being denounced from the pulpit by a priest who lost all his siblings to malnutrition but the publisher didn't want to alienate Catholic readers.