A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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The special city reader at the Model Press Clipping Bureau, where Francie works as a file clerk. Miss Armstrong is the highest paid file clerk. She is also kind and tries to befriend Francie, who has no friends among the other clerks. There is a rumor around the office that Miss Armstrong is the boss’s mistress, which Francie learns to be true when her boss says that Miss Armstrong is leaving the office to marry him. When Miss Armstrong leaves the office—she insists that a woman should not work after marriage—she recommends that Francie take over her job as the city reader. Miss Armstrong briefly returns to the job during the First World War, after her husband loses most of his readers to the Civil Service and lays off those who remain, before he closes the bureau down altogether.
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Miss Irma Armstrong Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Irma Armstrong appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 44
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Miss Armstrong is the special city reader. Once, in the washroom, Francie overhears someone saying that Miss... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
Just before Labor Day, the boss at the Bureau tells Francie that he and Miss Armstrong are getting married; therefore, she is leaving her job as city reader. He says that... (full context)
Chapter 48
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Gender, Sexuality, and Vulnerability Theme Icon
Soon, Francie, Miss Armstrong , and the boss are the only ones reading papers. Then, Francie is laid off... (full context)