A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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Miss Garnder Character Analysis

Francie’s English teacher. She starts to give Francie C’s in English composition, though Francie normally gets A’s, because she disapproves of Francie writing about unpleasant aspects of life, such as poverty and alcoholism. She encourages Francie to focus on beauty instead and claims that she, too, endured a poor upbringing. However, her father was a minister who had a meager but fixed income, and her mother had the benefit of having a maid to help with housework. Hearing this, Francie does not think that her teacher can identify at all with her pain.

Miss Garnder Quotes in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The A Tree Grows in Brooklyn quotes below are all either spoken by Miss Garnder or refer to Miss Garnder. 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 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:
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Miss Garnder Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Garnder 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
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
...for being unreliable. In September, Francie enters her last year of school before high school. Miss Garnder says that, if Francie continues to get A’s in composition, Miss Garnder will let her... (full context)
Chapter 39
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
...over, Francie has time to work on her novel. She is writing to prove to Miss Garnder , the new English teacher, that she does know something about beauty. Since Johnny’s death,... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
Miss Garnder goes on to say that the school cannot put on Francie’s play for the same... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
...ask Steve, or “Aunt Sissy’s John,” to publish it. Then, she’ll present the book to Miss Garnder who will find the book wonderful and be sorry for how she spoke to Francie.... (full context)
Chapter 42
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
Romanticism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
...The latter is her English grade. Francie suddenly hates the school and its teachers, especially Miss Garnder . She returns to the classroom with the other girls, who are expecting bouquets of... (full context)
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
...other students, whom she realizes liked her much more than she thought. Francie goes to Miss Garnder ’s room. The teacher looks eagerly toward Francie and asks why Francie stopped handing work... (full context)