A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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Andy Nolan Character Analysis

Johnny’s brother who dies young from tuberculosis. Along with Johnny and his other two brothers, George and Frankie, he is a singing waiter and a member of the Nolan Quartette. He is engaged to Francie Melaney before his death. With his “red-gold wavy hair and finely molded features,” Andy is regarded as the handsomest of the Nolan boys. Shortly before he dies, his brothers buy him a fancy pillow so that he can enjoy a bit of luxury. Andy stains “the fine new pillow” with “a last great gush of blood” and then dies.
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Andy Nolan Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Andy Nolan appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...produce beautiful, weak men who grow “handsomer, weaker, and more beguiling with each generation.” After Andy Nolan dies, the boys swear that they will never leave their mother, Ruthie. Six months... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...look after their mother. As a wedding present, they decide to give Johnny and Katie Andy’s old pillow. Ruthie sews a new ticking over it to hide the ugly stain that... (full context)
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
About a year after Johnny got married, Frankie, “whom many thought even handsomer than Andy,” stumbles home drunk and falls on a makeshift spiked fence that someone made to protect... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...if she can be the baby’s godmother. The child will also have the name that Andy’s fiancée would have had: Francie Nolan. (full context)