A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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The third daughter of Mary and Thomas Rommely and the sister of Katie, Sissy, and Eliza. Francie adores her, just as she does Aunt Sissy, due to Evy’s great ability for storytelling and impressions. Aunt Evy strongly resembles Katie. She marries Willie Flittman at a young age, partly because she, like the other Rommely women, have a weakness for musical men. The couple lives “in a cheap basement flat on the fringes of a very refined neighborhood.” Evy insists on this because she is a snob and a social climber. She has three children—a son named after Willie, a girl named Blossom, and another boy named Paul Jones. To assist her climb on the social ladder, she leaves the Catholic Church in favor of the Episcopalian Church. She wants her children to love music and demonstrate talent for it, so she sends Paul and Blossom to Professor Allegretto to learn the fiddle. Willie later leaves her to become a busker and Evy gets a job at the munitions factory where he once worked.

Aunt Evy Quotes in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The A Tree Grows in Brooklyn quotes below are all either spoken by Aunt Evy or refer to Aunt Evy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn published in 1943.
Chapter 30 Quotes

Most women had the one thing in common: they had great pain when they gave birth to their children. This should make a bond that held them all together; it should make them love and protect each other against the man-world. But it was not so. It seemed like their great birth pains shrank their hearts and their souls. They stuck together for only one thing: to trample on some other woman […] whether it was by throwing stones or by mean gossip. It was the only kind of loyalty they seemed to have. Men were different. They might hate each other but they stuck together against the world and against any woman who would ensnare one of them. “As long as I live, I will never have a woman for a friend. I will never trust any woman again, except maybe Mama and sometimes Aunt Evy and Aunt Sissy.”

Related Characters: Francie Nolan (speaker), Katie Nolan, Aunt Sissy , Aunt Evy, Joanna
Page Number: 237-238
Explanation and Analysis:
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn PDF

Aunt Evy Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Evy appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
When Francie gets home, Aunt Evy and Uncle Willie Flittman are there. Uncle Willie is playing his guitar. After his last... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Aunt Evy comes over soon after Mrs. Gindler leaves. She brings along some sweet butter and a... (full context)
Chapter 14
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Katie later questions Francie closely. Later, Katie talks with Evy and they both agree that, for the sake of their daughters, Sissy has to stay... (full context)
Chapter 27
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
That week, Francie tells another lie. Aunt Evy comes over with tickets to a Protestant celebration for the poor of all faiths. Initially,... (full context)
Chapter 30
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...as a friend and will never trust a woman, except for Katie and “sometimes Aunt Evy and Aunt Sissy.” (full context)
Chapter 31
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...breaks out in Europe and Uncle Willie Flittman’s horse, Drummer, falls in love with Aunt Evy. Drummer drives Uncle Willie’s milk wagon. The horse doesn’t like Uncle Willie. He refuses to... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
As a result of his concussion, Uncle Willie cannot make his milk deliveries. Aunt Evy has never before driven a horse, but the milk must be delivered, so she gives... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Not wanting her husband to lose his job, Evy offers to take over his route while Willie recovers. She argues that, since the milk... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Aunt Evy does well at the job. The other drivers like her and even say that she... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...on the milk route. Yet, every day at noon, Drummer turns onto the street where Evy lives and stands in front of her door. Drummer will not go back to the... (full context)
Chapter 36
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Jim McGarrity, the saloon keeper, sends over a wreath of artificial laurel leaves. Aunt Evy tells Katie to throw them out, but she refuses to blame McGarrity for Johnny’s death.... (full context)
Chapter 38
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
When Katie consults with Sissy and Evy, Evy insists that Katie pull Francie out of school so that she can get her... (full context)
Chapter 40
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...says that, when Neeley arrives at 7:30 PM, he is to go over to Aunt Evy’s, because she lives closer than Aunt Sissy. Katie doesn’t think that men should be around... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Evy arrives at 8:30 PM and says that Sissy will be along in half an hour.... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...gets back, she finds out that Katie has delivered the baby. She realizes that Aunt Evy sent her out because she did not want Francie to witness it. Katie delivers a... (full context)
Chapter 42
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
When it’s time to pay, Katie lets the waiter keep twenty cents in change. Evy protests, but Katie insists they are celebrating. When Albie Seedmore, the son of a prosperous... (full context)
Chapter 55
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...decides this after winning first prize in an amateur competition at a movie house. Aunt Evy says that he’ll come back home when it starts snowing again, but Francie isn’t so... (full context)