A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by

Betty Smith

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The Teacher’s Pet Character Analysis

A little girl who is a student at a school near Francie’s tenement building. Francie’s yard faces onto the schoolyard where the little girl goes in the afternoons to clap together a pair of chalkboard erasers to release their chalk. Katie once told Francie that this is a job only reserved for teacher’s pets and Francie decides that, when she goes to school, she would also like to be a teacher’s pet. When the teacher’s pet sees Francie watching her, she makes a show out of clapping the erasers. She then goes over to the fence separating their yards and offers Francie the opportunity to touch the felt on one of the erasers. When Francie reaches out to touch it, she spits in Francie’s face and threatens to do so again if Francie won’t cry.

The Teacher’s Pet Quotes in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The A Tree Grows in Brooklyn quotes below are all either spoken by The Teacher’s Pet or refer to The Teacher’s Pet . 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 15 Quotes

As she was about to touch this soft beautifulness, the little girl snatched it away and spat full in Francie’s face. Francie closed her eyes tightly to keep the hurt bitter tears from spilling out. The other girl stood there curiously, waiting for the tears. When none came, she taunted:

“Why don't you bust out crying, you dockle? Want I should spit in your face again?”

Francie turned and went down into the cellar and sat in the dark a long time waiting until the waves of hurt stopped breaking over her. It was the first of many disillusionments that were to come as her capacity to feel things grew. She never liked blackboard erasers after that.

Related Characters: The Teacher’s Pet (speaker), Francie Nolan
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn PDF

The Teacher’s Pet Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The timeline below shows where the character The Teacher’s Pet appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
...the iron mesh. Katie once told her that this is a job reserved for a teacher’s pet . Francie is unsure of what this term means, but she promises herself that, when... (full context)
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
The teacher’s pet , aware of Francie’s admiration, shows off by clapping erasers behind her back. She then... (full context)
Chapter 19
Poverty and Perseverance Theme Icon
Education and the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Snobbery Theme Icon
...girl. She’s in school for half a day before she realizes that she’ll never be the teacher’s pet . That honor will go to one of the daughters of prosperous shopkeepers who sit... (full context)