A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Book 3 Discussion 2

What connection could be made between Francie’s early writing—including the stories that her teacher rejects— and Smith’s…..In a particularly revealing chapter of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Francie’s teacher dismisses her essays about everyday life among the poor as “sordid,” and, indeed, many of the novel’s characters seem to harbor a sense of shame about their poverty. But they also display a remarkable self-reliance (Katie, for example, says she would kill herself and her children before accepting charity). How and why have our society’s perceptions of poverty changed – for better or worse – during the last one hundred years?