Neeley Nolan Quotes in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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.
A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap
route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can
forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion
and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the
cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in
the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she
had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving
of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she
lacked the courage to be otherwise.
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