Study Guide

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Chapter 51

By Betty Smith

Chapter 51

  • When the temperature turns colder, Francie enrolls in some fun evening classes. She takes sewing and ballroom dance and really likes them.
  • The rest of the chapter is made up of little vignettes, or short little scenes, from the rest of the year. Here are some of the greatest hits:
    • Mama encourages Francie not to study too long into the night for her college entrance exam.
    • Sissy starts an endowment for her children so they are able to afford college.
    • Evy and Willy Flittman have to move around a lot due to his drumming hobby.
    • Mary Rommely, 85, is ill and pretty sure she will die soon.
    • Francie shares snapshots of her family with the girls at work.
    • Francie catches Neeley with a wild woman.
    • Mama goes into Francie’s purse and sees cigarettes, but isn’t really mad.
    • Mama convinces them that instead of Christmas presents, they will buy wonderful food for the Tynmore women.
    • Francie decides to send a Christmas card to Ben.
    • The Nolans decide to drink coffee instead of milk punch to celebrate the arrival of 1918.