A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Book 3 Discussion 4

Some critics suggest that the book’s characters are caricatures—types of people rather than real people. However, Chapter 36 shows Katie less as a character type, and more as a real person. She responds initially to the death the way the reader would expect, telling her children not to cry. She does not cry at the funeral. Then, all of a sudden she breaks down at the kitchen table, in front of her sisters and her children. This emotional catharsis is unlike Katie, but shows that her behavior sometimes strays from the hard / detached type. (from Sparks Notes)

What do you think of the way Katie handled Johnny’s death?  Of the way she helped the kids through his death?  Do you think she does the right thing by Johnny and by the kids?

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