A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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Jim McGarrity’s wife and the mother of their children, Irene and Jim. Mae helps McGarrity in the bar. Jim recalls that he married her when she was “a curvy, sensuous girl with dark red hair and a wide mouth.” Later in life, she transforms into “a stout blowsy woman” known in Brooklyn as “the saloon type.” Mae is routinely unfaithful but has a good business sense, which helps McGarrity become a well-to-do man. She likes running the saloon and spends her spare time laughing and drinking with the customers in a back room. She also has the idea of renting the rooms upstairs.
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Mae McGarrity Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Mae McGarrity appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 32
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...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 38
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... (full context)
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
During a private conversation with her husband, Mae tells Jim that it won’t work out with Neeley and Francie. They look into each... (full context)
Chapter 56
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...also passes McGarrity’s saloon, though Jim McGarrity no longer owns it. Anticipating Prohibition, he and Mae move to a large place out on Long Island and turn it into a speakeasy... (full context)