A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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Francie, Neeley, and Laurie’s mother and Johnny Nolan’s wife. The youngest daughter of Mary Rommely and Thomas Rommely, immigrants from Austria, Katie also has three sisters, Evy, Eliza, and Sissy. When Katie first appears in the novel, she is twenty-nine years old. Katie is a proud, strong, hard-working, and resourceful woman. She is also quite pretty, with curly black hair and a good figure. She is two years younger than her first husband, Johnny, and fifteen years younger than her second husband, Michael McShane. Katie meets Johnny when she is seventeen and working at the Castle Braid Factory. By then, she has already been working at the factory for four years to support her family. Katie later works as a cleaning woman and finds the family an apartment on Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where they do not have to pay rent in exchange for Katie keeping the building clean. She takes on additional jobs, such as serving sandwiches in a café to shopgirls for several hours in the afternoon, to make additional income. Unlike her husband, she is indifferent to politics and critical of the Democratic Party. To aid in her children’s education, she reads to them from the Bible and Shakespeare’s plays. She is more adamant about Neeley getting an education than Francie due to her greater love for her son. She recognizes in Francie her own streak of strong will and independence.

Katie Nolan Quotes in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The A Tree Grows in Brooklyn quotes below are all either spoken by Katie Nolan or refer to Katie Nolan. 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 7 Quotes

Feeling his arms around her and instinctively adjusting herself to his rhythm, Katie knew that he was the man she wanted. She'd ask nothing more than to look at him and to listen to him for the rest of her life. Then and there, she decided that those privileges were worth slaving for all her life. Maybe that decision was her great mistake. She should have waited until some man came along who felt that way about her. Then her children would not have gone hungry; she would not have had to scrub floors for their living and her memory of him would have remained a tender shining thing. But she wanted Johnny Nolan and no one else and she set out to get him.

Related Characters: Johnny Nolan, Katie Nolan, Hildy O’Dair
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's growing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.”

“Aw, somebody ought to cut that tree down, the homely thing.”

“If there was only one tree like that in the world, you would think it was beautiful,” said Katie. "But because there are so many, you just can't see how beautiful it really is.”

Related Characters: Katie Nolan (speaker), Francie Nolan
Related Symbols: The Tree
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

Life was going too swiftly for Johnny. He had a wife and two babies before

he was old enough to vote. His life was finished before it had a chance to begin. He was doomed and no one knew it better than Johnny Nolan. Katie had the same hardships as Johnny and she was nineteen, two years younger. It might be said that she, too, was doomed. Her life, too, was over before it began. But there the similarity ended. Johnny knew he was doomed and accepted it. Katie wouldn't accept it. She started a new life where her old one left off. She exchanged her tenderness for capability. She gave up her dreams

and took over hard realities in their place. Katie had a fierce desire for survival which made her a fighter. Johnny had a hankering after immortality which made him a useless dreamer. And that was the great difference between these two who loved each other so well.

Related Characters: Neeley Nolan, Johnny Nolan, Katie Nolan
Page Number: 96-97
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

Francie was out walking one Saturday in October and she chanced on an unfamiliar neighborhood. Here were no tenements or raucous shabby stores. There were old houses that had been standing there when Washington

maneuvered his troops across Long Island […] She walked on further and came to a little old school. Its old bricks glowed garnet in the late afternoon sun. There was no fence around the school yard and the school grounds were grass and not cement. Across from the school, it was practically open country—a meadow with goldenrod, wild asters and clover growing in it. Francie's heart turned over. This was it! This was the school she wanted to go to. But how could she get to go there? […] Her parents would have to move to that neighborhood if she wanted to go to that school. Francie knew that Mama wouldn't move just because she felt like going to another school. She walked home slowly thinking about it.

Related Characters: Francie Nolan, Katie Nolan
Page Number: 168-169
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Gently, Teacher explained the difference between a lie and a story. A lie was something you told because you were mean or a coward. A story was something you made up out of something that might have happened. Only you didn't tell it like it was; you told it like you thought it should have been […] Katie was annoyed at this tendency and kept warning Francie to tell the plain truth and to stop romancing. But Francie just couldn't tell the plain undecorated truth. She had to put something to it […] Although Katie had this same flair for coloring an incident and Johnny himself lived in a half-dream world, yet they tried to squelch these things in their child. Maybe they had a good reason. Maybe they knew their own gift of imagination colored too rosily the poverty and brutality of their lives and made them able to endure it. Perhaps Katie thought that if they did not have this faculty they would be clearer-minded; see things as they really were, and seeing them loathe them and somehow find a way to make them better.

Related Characters: Francie Nolan, Johnny Nolan, Katie Nolan
Page Number: 198-199
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter 33 Quotes

If normal sex was a great mystery in the neighborhood, criminal sex was

an open book. In all poor and congested city areas, the prowling sex fiend

is a nightmarish horror that haunts parents. There seems to be one in every neighborhood. There was one in Williamsburg in that year when Francie turned fourteen. For a long time, he had been molesting little girls, and although the police were on a continual lookout for him, he was never caught. One of the reasons was that when a little girl was attacked, the parents kept it secret so that no one would know and discriminate against the child and look on her as a thing apart and make it impossible for her to resume a normal childhood with her playmates.

Page Number: 251
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 39 Quotes

One delves into the imagination and finds beauty there. The writer,

like the artist, must strive for beauty always […] Drunkenness is neither truth nor beauty. It’s a vice. Drunkards belong in jail, not in stories. And poverty. There is no excuse for that. There's work enough for all who want it. People are poor because they're too lazy to work. There's nothing beautiful about laziness.

Related Characters: Miss Garnder (speaker), Francie Nolan, Johnny Nolan, Katie Nolan
Page Number: 321-322
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 56 Quotes

He buttoned up his coat jauntily and Francie saw that he wore their father's signet ring. It was true then—what Granma had said: that the Rommely women had the gift of seeing the ghosts of their beloved dead. Francie saw her

father.

Page Number: 490
Explanation and Analysis:

She liked Ben. She liked him an awful lot. She wished that she could love him. If only he wasn't so sure of himself all the time. If only he’d stumble just

once. If only he needed her. Ah, well. She had five years to think it over.

Page Number: 492
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Tree Grows in Brooklyn LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn PDF

Katie Nolan Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Katie Nolan appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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It is noon when Francie arrives home. Her mother, Katie, comes in soon after her with her broom and pail. She works as “a janitress”... (full context)
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After Francie puts the eight cents from junk-collecting into the family bank, Katie instructs her on how to buy lunch. Francie is to take eight cents for “a... (full context)
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...Usually, he spends Saturdays at the Union Headquarters, waiting for a job. Francie, Neeley, and Katie have a nice dinner without him. They slice up the rye bread and each eat... (full context)
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When Francie returns home, she finds out that Katie has gone out with Aunt Sissy to see a matinee, and Neeley is heading to... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Johnny comes home at 5:00 PM. He asks where Katie is and Francie says that she went to a movie with Aunt Sissy. Johnny is... (full context)
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...but Francie overheard a short man 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... (full context)
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...he drinks. He figures that he’ll never really make it in life. However, he married Katie because he fell in love with her and because she’s a good woman. (full context)
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...side. They pass Gabriel’s Hardware Store and look at a pair of roller skates—something that Katie would never make time to do. Johnny talks as though he’ll buy Francie a pair... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Katie comes home at 6:00 PM with Aunt Sissy. Francie is glad to see Sissy, who... (full context)
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For Saturday supper, Katie makes a meal out of stale bread. She pours boiling water over a loaf, makes... (full context)
Chapter 6
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When Neeley comes home, he and Francie go to buy meat. Katie instructs them to get “a five-cent soup bone off of Hassler’s” and then go to... (full context)
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...horse—respects him. He recalls how Drummer peed on him once while he was washing him. Katie, Evy, and Francie fight to suppress laughter. Evy insists that she loves Willie, but he... (full context)
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...her father singing softly and coming up the stairs. He’s singing “Molly Malone.” Johnny and Katie play a game in which she opens the door and lets him in before he... (full context)
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...three dollars that he has earned. He gives each of his children a nickel, which Katie instructs them to put in the bank. Johnny also brings home some food from the... (full context)
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...back to bed and falls asleep immediately. Francie goes back to sitting by the window. Katie and Johnny sit in the kitchen, where they talk until daybreak. Johnny tells her about... (full context)
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...be peaceful, too. She will think “long thoughts about the nasturtiums in the brown bowl.” Katie and Johnny reminisce in the kitchen, recalling when they first met. Johnny was dating Hildy... (full context)
Chapter 7
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In the summer of 1900, Johnny Nolan meets Katie Rommely. Hildy O’Dair, Katie’s best friend, invites Katie along when she and her boyfriend, Johnny,... (full context)
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One day, Katie tells her forelady that she has menstrual cramps and cannot work. She gets out fifteen... (full context)
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...Johnny, but the smile turns into a grimace of hate when she sees him with Katie. Hildy accuses Katie of stealing Johnny away and lunges at her with a hairpin. Johnny... (full context)
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Katie and Johnny become engaged after a four-month courtship. They marry in Katie’s church on New... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...boys swear that they will never leave their mother, Ruthie. Six months later, Johnny marries Katie. Johnny’s choice earns Katie her new mother-in-law’s hatred. Ruthie hoped to keep “all of her... (full context)
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Georgie and Frankie like Katie, but they resent Johnny for leaving them to look after their mother. As a wedding... (full context)
Chapter 9
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After their marriage, Johnny and Katie go to live on Bogart Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Johnny chooses the street because he... (full context)
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At the public school job, Katie and Johnny each earn fifty dollars a month, which is a good salary for people... (full context)
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Katie is screaming in pain when Johnny and Mrs. Gindler, the midwife, finally arrive. The apartment... (full context)
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...baby and thinks that the child doesn’t look very well, but she says nothing to Katie. When Johnny arrives home, Evy thinks about lecturing him but, seeing his pale and frightened... (full context)
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...baby. He is holding some avocadoes that he bought, then he collapses and cries beside Katie’s bed. Katie cries, too. She is weak from delivering the baby, but she is the... (full context)
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...the school and collect his last pay. Johnny destroys the note and says nothing to Katie. It turns out that some pipes burst while Johnny was away from the job. The... (full context)
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After Johnny takes Mary Rommely to see Katie, he goes out to look for another job. Katie confesses that she knows that she... (full context)
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Katie insists that she doesn’t want Francie to work as hard as Katie does. Mary says... (full context)
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Mary’s next bit of advice is that Katie must own land. Ironically, Katie finds this most absurd, given that she can barely afford... (full context)
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Sissy goes to Katie’s apartment after work. She declares Francie “the most beautiful baby in the world,” though Johnny... (full context)
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...As a result, he drifts back into the singing-waiting business and never takes another job. Katie tells Sissy about her fears and worries regarding the future. She also tells her older... (full context)
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...putting a nickel in. She then gets back into bed and gets excited again when Katie tells her about the two books for Francie. Sissy promises that she will get the... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Katie insists that Francie will live, but she worries over how fragile she is. This is... (full context)
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When Katie tells Johnny, he worries again. The idea of a second child makes him feel “trapped.”... (full context)
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...born one week after her first birthday. Unlike Francie, he is born strong and healthy. Katie suddenly feels “a wild tenderness for him” and “a flash of contempt” for the weak... (full context)
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Katie names the boy Cornelius, after a noble character she once saw an actor portray on... (full context)
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As the children grow up, Katie loses her tenderness and develops what people call “character.” She still loves Johnny dearly, but... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Johnny celebrates his voting birthday by going on a three-day drinking binge. Katie locks him in the bedroom so that he can’t get more to drink, which causes... (full context)
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...between her breasts, laces her corset, and buttons her dress over it. She goes to Katie’s and asks to be left alone with Johnny. Katie locks Sissy in the bedroom with... (full context)
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When Sissy goes back into the kitchen, Katie looks at her disordered clothing with “swollen and suspicious” eyes and tells Sissy that she... (full context)
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Katie wonders aloud why she married Johnny. Sissy says that Katie married him because she wanted... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Katie is ashamed to stay in the neighborhood after Johnny’s drinking binge. She finds a house... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...a bathtub. To Francie, this is the largest body of water she has ever seen. Katie and Johnny work to keep the building clean in exchange for their rent. During the... (full context)
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A year passes. Katie works harder every season. Johnny works less and drinks more. Katie continues to read to... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...laid off from work and, that day, decides to go see Francie and Neeley while Katie is working. She suddenly sees “a handsome tricycle.” It’s unattended and Sissy wastes no time... (full context)
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...quite innocent. On Saturday afternoons, Johnny is at Union Headquarters, waiting for a job, and Katie fixes sandwiches and coffee for shopgirls at Gorling’s Department Store. Sissy knows that the children... (full context)
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...sees what is hanging outside of the window, his face burns with shame. He tells Katie about it when she comes home. (full context)
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Katie later questions Francie closely. Later, Katie talks with Evy and they both agree that, for... (full context)
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Katie finds another building where she can serve as janitor on Grand Street in Williamsburg. The... (full context)
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...which means that she will be starting school in September. Francie tells her father that Katie said that Francie must wait a year for school so that she and Neeley can... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...them of chalk dust. Francie watches her, with her face close to the iron mesh. Katie once told her that this is a job reserved for a teacher’s pet. Francie is... (full context)
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...dollars and the previous renter of the apartment did not have it, so she asked Katie if she could leave it and if the family would take care of it for... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Katie decides to provide the family with piano lessons. She gets the idea from a white... (full context)
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...fascinated by the metronome that she is paying little attention to how Miss Tynmore places Katie’s hands on the keys. The “soothing monotonous clicking” causes Neeley to fall asleep. (full context)
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When the lesson ends, Katie expresses her gratitude for Miss Tynmore’s excellent instruction. Miss Tynmore is pleased by the flattery... (full context)
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After each lesson, Katie shows Francie and Neeley what she has learned and makes them practice for thirty minutes... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...she instructs them to wash themselves and then go to the clinic at 11:00 AM. Katie cannot go with them because she has to work and Johnny is at Union Headquarters,... (full context)
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...pies and nearly forget about the time until their neighbor, Mrs. Gaddis, yells down that Katie asked her to remind them of when it was nearly 11:00. They go around the... (full context)
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...down with a fever and gets an itch in the place where she was vaccinated. Katie warns her not to scratch it, then the site of the injection swells and turns... (full context)
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Johnny smokes another cigar and then gets in bed next to Katie, who is already asleep. In one of her rare impulses of affection, she throws her... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...to, she’ll have the cop “beat the hell” out of Miss Briggs. Neither Francie nor Katie ever learn about Sissy’s school visit. Afterwards, Miss Briggs lets Francie use the restroom and... (full context)
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...Sissy asks one of her co-workers in the shop to write her a note for Katie. The note asks Katie “to let bygones be bygones” and to permit her to go... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...sat next to a girl who had lice marching through “the lanes of her hair,” Katie goes into action. There is no room in her life for additional trouble or worry.... (full context)
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When an epidemic of mumps breaks out, Katie makes Francie and Neeley go to school with buds of garlic sewn into flannel bags... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...and she knows that she wants to go to this school, but she wonders how. Katie will not move just so that she can attend school. (full context)
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...He wakes up the next day around noon and the family sits for lunch. As Katie pours the coffee, Johnny announces that he and Francie will go for a walk a... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...her age, doesn’t understand politics but listens interestedly in the debates between her father and Katie. Johnny is a fervent Democrat, but Katie is both critical of the party’s corruption and... (full context)
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...as everyone else her age to go on a boat. Despite her contempt for politicians, Katie sees no reason not to take advantage of the good time. (full context)
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...marble player and loses her tickets. Neeley has three left and Francie asks for one. Katie, instead, uses the occasion to lecture Francie about gambling. A policeman standing nearby gives Francie... (full context)
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When Francie goes back to her family, Katie asks what the cop said to her. She repeats the conversation and Katie looks at... (full context)
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...the local Democratic Party. On the way home, it is dusk. Neeley falls asleep in Katie’s lap. (full context)
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Katie asks Johnny if he knows about Sergeant McShane. Johnny says that he is nicknamed the... (full context)
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...Democratic Party. He also confirms that Johnny should be at the polls at 11:00 AM. Katie thinks that they want to keep tabs on who is going to the polls, and... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...“a chalk-white death head with grinning black teeth.” He combines this mask with one of Katie’s discarded dresses, cut off at the ankle so that he can walk. Francie wears one... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...keep the tree. On the Christmas Eve when Francie is ten and Neeley is nine, Katie consents to letting them have their first try in this ritual. (full context)
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Katie stands alone at the top of the stairs, watching them and listening to the singing.... (full context)
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Katie imagines how Francie will go to high school one day because she is smart. However,... (full context)
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...comes over with tickets to a Protestant celebration for the poor of all faiths. Initially, Katie demurs because the family is Catholic. Evy urges tolerance and Katie finally allows Francie and... (full context)
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Francie tells Katie that the doll was a prize. She knows that her mother hates charity and would... (full context)
Chapter 28
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The future always seems close to Katie and other adults, while it is always far away to a child. Between Francie’s eleventh... (full context)
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...with “a bad case” of growing up. Growing up spoils Francie’s enjoyment of the games Katie and the children would play when money ran out to buy food, such as pretending... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...even if they’re not fish that he caught himself. His children know that he wants Katie to think that he caught fish. He says that he isn’t asking them to lie,... (full context)
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When Johnny arrives home, Katie gives him a tongue lashing and says that he isn’t fit to have children. Katie... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Francie shows it to her mother, but Katie says that she has no time to read it and Johnny is at Union Headquarters.... (full context)
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Katie insists that the child’s looks will be a curse to her, just as they are... (full context)
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Francie gets her lesson from Joanna, but it’s not the one that Katie intended. Often, on her way home at night from the library, Francie would see Joanna... (full context)
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Katie warns Francie to be “a good girl” because she can have a baby now. She... (full context)
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...never have a woman as a friend and will never trust a woman, except for Katie and “sometimes Aunt Evy and Aunt Sissy.” (full context)
Chapter 32
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...has taken pussy willows from a park to give to a girl he likes, though Katie insists that he is too young to like girls. (full context)
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...which she writes about wanting to be a playwright. Johnny continues to get sick. When Katie finds and reads Francie’s diary, she makes Francie cross out every entry in which she... (full context)
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...tin-can bank is gone. Francie gets a summer 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 33
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When Francie tells her mother about her sex curiosity, Katie tells her, “simply and plainly,” all that she knows. As a result, Francie never learns... (full context)
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...keeps the gun under his pillow for a month and never touches it. One afternoon, Katie is cleaning in the halls of a house that is not her own. She wonders... (full context)
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At this moment, Katie is coming down the stairs quietly. She sees a man coming at Francie, who is... (full context)
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Katie grabs Francie’s hand to pull her upstairs but Francie remains frozen. Katie hits her wrist... (full context)
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...to be let in. When he sees Francie lying on the couch, he starts bawling. Katie tells him to stop and go to get his father. Neeley finds Johnny at McGarrity’s.... (full context)
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The police knock at the door. Katie lets them in, along with an intern who performs an examination. After confirming that Francie... (full context)
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...he keeps the gun. He tells him about the hiding place under the pillow. When Katie goes to get it, she forgets that she threw it into the washtub. She gets... (full context)
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Sergeant McShane comes around some days later, looking for Katie. He hands her an envelope of money from a collection that was taken up at... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Francie hears Aunt Sissy tell Katie that she is going to get a baby. Sissy wants to adopt a child, but... (full context)
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Katie is the only person whom Sissy tells the truth about Sarah. As a result, Francie... (full context)
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Johnny returns late, singing “Molly Malone” at the door, as is his routine. He expects Katie to open the door before he finishes the song, in keeping with their game, but... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...hours. When he’s home, he lies on the bed, fully clothed, with his eyes shut. Katie goes “white and quiet,” as though she’s “carrying a tragedy within herself.” She takes on... (full context)
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Katie goes home that night with a bundle of wood blocks, condensed milk, and three bananas.... (full context)
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...the door, wanting to run to the bedroom and hide her head under the pillow. Katie orders her to stay. She then says that she will stay with Johnny for a... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...Nolan dies three days later. He goes to bed the night he returns home and Katie sits beside him until he goes to sleep. Then, she sleeps with Francie so as... (full context)
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At dawn, Francie wakes up. When Katie notices, she tells her to get up and get dressed right away. Then, she shakes... (full context)
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Katie next handles Johnny’s burial with a greedy undertaker, but she doesn’t protest the way in... (full context)
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...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. Though Johnny... (full context)
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At the mass, Francie kneels on one side of Katie and Neeley on the other. When the priest steps down and sprays holy water at... (full context)
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Katie, Ruthie Nolan, Francie, and Neeley ride out to the cemetery in the first coach behind... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Katie stays in bed the day after the funeral, and Francie and Neeley wander around bewildered.... (full context)
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When Katie lets Francie and Neeley in the apartment, she notices that their faces look tired but... (full context)
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Katie says that the Nolans will resume their evening readings. She first goes to the Bible... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Just before Christmas vacation ends, Francie tells Katie that she isn’t going back to school. Francie says that, because she is fourteen she... (full context)
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When Katie consults with Sissy and Evy, Evy insists that Katie pull Francie out of school so... (full context)
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Katie is ecstatic to hear the offer. However, she lets the children decide and they agree.... (full context)
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On the way home from Aunt Sissy’s house one afternoon, Francie tells Katie how Aunt Sissy doesn’t wear her strong, sweet perfume anymore. Katie notes that she no... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Francie then thinks about how much she misses Johnny and how she knows that Katie loves Neeley more than her. She worries suddenly about Katie dying and no one being... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Katie goes into labor. Katie asks Francie constantly for the time and says that, when Neeley... (full context)
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Katie instructs Francie to wrap up Neeley’s things, which he will need overnight. She then asks... (full context)
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The neighbors listen to Katie’s cries of pain. The “apelike teamster” complains and says that he hopes Katie’s cries won’t... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...Neeley turns in a report card of two B’s and C’s in his other subjects. Katie registers surprise at Francie’s “C” in English composition. Francie says that she doesn’t want to... (full context)
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When it’s time to pay, Katie lets the waiter keep twenty cents in change. Evy protests, but Katie insists they are... (full context)
Chapter 43
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Neeley presents a pound package of peanut brittle to Katie for her and Francie to share. He also gives Katie eighty cents that he made... (full context)
Chapter 44
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...out a grown-up outfit for the interview. Francie talks again about cutting her hair and Katie refuses. The interview is short and Francie is hired on trial. The readers read papers... (full context)
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...that money, but she wants to go back to school. Later that evening, Francie tells Katie about how much she wants to go back to school, while Neeley says that he... (full context)
Chapter 45
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...sees how her salary makes life so much easier for the family. When she, Neeley, Katie, and Laurie go Christmas shopping, they first go to buy Katie a new hat. Katie... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...and Neeley responds with the same, but jokingly calls the well-wisher “a dirty Irish mick.” Katie and Francie laugh. Then, they all decide to drink a toast to their Irishness. McGarrity... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...and Sissy is “madly in love with him.” One evening, Sissy comes over and tells Katie that she’s pregnant again. Katie worries because Sissy is thirty-seven and too old to get... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...Corporation in downtown New York, working as a teletype operator. Despite Francie having another job, Katie begins to worry. The war has sent the prices of goods skyrocketing. The family’s dependence... (full context)
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...the subject of high school comes up, Francie says that she refuses to go. Now, Katie protests, but Francie fears that she’ll be too old when she finally graduates and gets... (full context)
Chapter 51
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...dancing classes. Meanwhile, Mary Rommely, who is eighty-five, prepares for her death. As Christmas approaches, Katie has the idea of pooling their money to buy a roast chicken, a big bakery... (full context)
Chapter 53
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...wife and that Lee pretended to be in love with Francie. Francie cries out for Katie, who empathizes but, as a mother, feels  powerless to protect her daughter from heartache. Francie... (full context)
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Francie then talks about how Lee invited her to sleep with him. As a mother, Katie worries about the “horrible things” that might have happened and the possibility of Francie’s life... (full context)
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Katie then mentions that she, too, received a letter from Sergeant McShane, announcing that he will... (full context)
Chapter 54
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...uniform. After playing with Laurie for a bit, Sergeant McShane states his wish to marry Katie. Katie worries, briefly, about the possibility of a public man like McShane having a scrubwoman... (full context)
Chapter 56
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...last day in their home. The movers are coming on Monday morning for their things. Katie insists on working as usual that Saturday. Francie straps Laurie into her “two-wheeled sulky” and... (full context)