A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Tree Grows in Brooklyn can help.
A little girl who lives in a building across from Francie. While Francie gets ready for her date with Ben, she wonders if anyone is watching her, just as she used to watch young women prepare for their dates when she was a girl. While she is having the thought, she peers out of her window and sees Florry Wendy sitting on a fire escape and looking at Francie through the bars. Florry Wendy is a “slender little thing of ten […] with a book in her lap and a bag of candy at hand.” The little girl reminds Francie so much of herself at Florry’s age that Francie calls her by her own name instead of “Florry.” The little girl corrects her. Francie closes the window on the home that she will soon leave and says “goodbye” to the little girl as though she is saying goodbye to her childhood self.

Florry Wendy Quotes in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The A Tree Grows in Brooklyn quotes below are all either spoken by Florry Wendy or refer to Florry Wendy. 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 56 Quotes

She looked towards the window. Yes, across two yards she saw a little

girl sitting on a fire escape with a book in her lap and a bag of candy at hand. The girl was peering through the bars at Francie […] She was a slender little thing of ten, and her name was Florry Wendy […] She looked down into the yard. The tree whose leaf umbrellas had curled around, under and over her fire escape had been cut down because the housewives complained that wash on the lines got entangled in its branches […] But the tree hadn't died […] A new tree had grown from the stump and its trunk had grown along the ground until it reached a place where there were no wash lines above it. Then it had started to grow towards the sky again. Annie, the fir tree, that the Nolans had cherished with waterings and manurings, had long since sickened and died. But this tree in the yard—this tree that men chopped down … this tree that they built a bonfire around, trying to burn up its stump—this tree lived! It lived! And nothing could destroy it.

Related Characters: Francie Nolan, Ben Blake, Florry Wendy
Related Symbols: The Tree
Page Number: 493
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Tree Grows in Brooklyn LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn PDF

Florry Wendy Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Florry Wendy appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 56
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...wonders if anyone is watching her. Across the yard, she sees a little girl named Florry Wendy with a book in her lap and a bag of candy at hand, sitting on... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
...Annie, died, but this tree that men chopped down lived! Once more, Francie looks at Florry Wendy reading on the fire escape. “Good-bye, Francie,” she whispers, and closes the window. (full context)