A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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The owner of a Brooklyn bar carrying his name, which Johnny frequents. He is a lonely man, and when Johnny dies, McGarrity quietly forgives his thirty-eight-dollar debt. McGarrity had liked Johnny because he was a good talker and storyteller. When he visits Katie to offer her financial help and her children jobs in his saloon, he also finds that he enjoys conversation with her. An Irish immigrant, McGarrity is married to a woman named Mae and has two children: Irene, who is Francie’s age, and a ten-year-old son named Jim. Both of his children are disappointments to him. He later sells his bar and moves away to a large place on Hempstead Turnpike near Long Island. Anticipating Prohibition, he stocks his basement with liquor. His intention is to open a speakeasy called The Club Mae-Marie, where his wife, Mae, will wear an evening dress and be the club’s hostess.
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Jim McGarrity Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Jim McGarrity appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...talking about how Johnny takes his wages home to Katie but spends his tips at McGarrity’s bar. Francie was hurt to hear this, but she figured that the short man and... (full context)
Chapter 27
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
...knows that money would not exactly make her children better. She thinks of how the McGarrity children have money but are selfish and mean toward other children. She thinks of Miss... (full context)
Chapter 33
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...Katie tells him to stop and go to get his father. Neeley finds Johnny at McGarrity’s. When he hears Neeley’s story, he drops his glass and runs out with him. When... (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... (full context)
Chapter 38
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
...and graduate. One day, she gets lucky when she decides to pay a visit to McGarrity’s to thank him for the wreath. Jim McGarrity misses Johnny, particularly his storytelling. Later, he... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...is ecstatic to hear the offer. However, she lets the children decide and they agree. McGarrity then offers to pay the first week’s salary in advance, but Katie refuses the money.... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Francie is glad for the job at McGarrity’s; it keeps her from missing Johnny. After school, Francie and Neeley go to church for... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
Mae McGarrity goes up and offers Francie something to eat. Francie lies and says that she isn’t... (full context)
Chapter 41
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Jim McGarrity doesn’t fire Francie and Neeley as planned because his business is booming in the spring... (full context)
Chapter 56
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...looks “little and shabby” to her now, but she still loves it. She also passes McGarrity’s saloon, though Jim McGarrity no longer owns it. Anticipating Prohibition, he and Mae move to... (full context)