A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


Betty Smith

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Flossie Gaddis Character Analysis

A young woman who lives below the Nolans at their third home on Grand Street in Williamsburg. She supports her mother and brother, Henny, by working as a turner in a kid-glove factory—that is, she is the person who reverses the incorrect stitching on gloves by turning them “right side out.” She has a disfigured right arm, due to having fallen into scalding hot water when she was little. In her spare time, Flossie designs costumes for a masquerade ball that she attends every Saturday night. She wins first prize on a costume that has “one flowing sleeve,” which the judges think symbolizes something, though she merely constructed it to hide her disfigured arm. Though Frank initially shows no interest in her, he later marries her to keep from getting drafted into the First World War. Francie describes Flossie as “starved about men,” in contrast to her Aunt Sissy who is only “healthily hungry about them.”
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Flossie Gaddis Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Flossie Gaddis appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...He whistles “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” while he works, which draws the attention of Flossie Gaddis. She sticks her head out the window and greets Frank, who is indifferent to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Francie goes back into her building and visits Flossie Gaddis to see what costume she has designed. On her way in, she greets Flossie’s... (full context)
Chapter 27
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
...the sight of something so grand. To make Henny Gaddis smile, Johnny offers his sister, Flossie, the opportunity to be the angel at the top of the tree. Flossie might have... (full context)
Chapter 32
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...job washing dishes in Hendler’s Restaurant and Katie does some washing for Mae McGarrity. Also, Flossie Gaddis and Frank get married. (full context)
Chapter 40
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...Katie’s cries won’t keep him awake. His young bride typically weeps and unbuttons her dress. Flossie Gaddis wonders aloud to her mother about men having all the fun and women all... (full context)