In Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, although both of Francie’s parents encourage her pursuit of education, Francie only understands Johnny’s blatant tenderness, which is shown once in the delivery of his flowers at her graduation long after his passing, and does not appreciate Katie’s concealed care for how much she values Francie’s education because Katie never verbally expresses her thoughts and feelings towards it.
Francie is unaware of Katie’s support towards her education because Katie never shows it, but only shows what is conveyed as opposition by sending Neeley to high school instead of Francie and never dictating her many thoughts on the importance of Francie’s education. QUOTE #1: “Kate lost all of her tenderness […and] became capable, hard and far seeing” (Smith 96). EXPLANATION #1: This quote shows Katie’s lack of tenderness that causes Francie to not appreciate Katie’s support towards Francie’s education.
QUOTE #2: “She must go to high school and maybe beyond that. She’s a learner and she’ll be somebody someday” (Smith 207). EXPLANATION #2: This quote shows that Katie truly values Francie’s education and is aware of its importance, despite her never voicing her support. QUOTE #3: “It was education that made the difference! Education would pull them out of the grime and dirt! ” (Smith 207). EXPLANATION #3: This quote shows that Katie is aware of how important Francie’s education is, even though she never verbally expresses this to anyone.
QUOTE #4: “I want to go back to school more ’n anything I’ll ever want in my life” (Smith 384). EXPLANATION #4: This quote shows how badly Francie wants to go to school and that she expresses it to Katie, but Katie still forces Neeley to attend rather than Francie. QUOTE #5: “He understood things about you that I can’t get to understand” (Smith 385). EXPLANATION #5: This quote shows that even Katie is aware of the better understanding and love between Francie and Johnny than there is between her and Francie.
Johnny’s outright encouragement for Francie’s education, shown through the delivery of his flowers at her graduation long after his passing, his assistance in Francie attending a new public school, and attempt to educate her through a trip to Bushwick Avenue, gains him appreciation and gratitude from Francie. QUOTE #1: “He wanted to teach his children all that he knew so that at fourteen or fifteen, they would know as much as he knew at thirty” (Smith 191). EXPLANATION #1: This quote shows that Johnny also strongly valued and supported Francie’s education.
QUOTE #2: “He felt that they needed lessons in […] geography, civics, and sociology. So he took them over to Bushwick Avenue” (Smith 191). EXPLANATION #2: This quote shows that Johnny openly supported Francie’s education by taking her places in an attempt to teach her and help her learn lessons. QUOTE #3: “For Francie on her graduation day. Love from Papa. ” (Smith 351). EXPLANATION #3: This quote shows Papa’s love and tenderness towards Francie when he makes sure that she receives flowers from him on her graduation day, no matter what.