Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith

Summary of a Novel:external image Joy%20in%20the%20Morning.jpg
The novel Joy in the Morning is very similar to Betty Smith's real life. In the story Annie McGairy drops out of school in the eighth grade to help her family due to the harsh economy. She meets Carl Brown in Brooklyn where she lives and he is a few years older than her. They bothe decide to get married when Annie turns 18 but both of their mother don't approve. Annie's mother thinks she is to young to make a grown up decision like getting married. Carl's mother is extremely over protective of Carl and wants the best for him and she doesnt think Annie is the best due to and incident from when she first met Annie and walked in to them on top of eachother but they were only wrestling. Both mothers also think tehy're only getting married because Annie is pregnant. Carl and Annie end up getting married at a courthouse in a midwestern town where Carl goes to college to be a lawyer. They begin thieir marrie life by living in a roo thta they rent from Mrs.Hansmon. Carl and Annie have to face the facts that Carl won't be around often due to class and working in the cafeteria and delivering news papers. Annie finds ways to entertai hersef such as go to the gocery store and get heckled by Henry wose a grocer, but the soon become friends,and she reads. As time goes on Annie realizes that she doesn't fit in so she gets a make over and looks like the rest of the coeds. She also begins to sit outside of an english class and takes notes and does the assignments but never turns them in. The Dean asks to meet Annie and when he hears about her listening in he gets the teacher Mr. Newcool to let her sit in an audit his class. This encourages Annie towrite more. She also writes all of her and Carl's conversations like a play but in ways she wished they went. Carl and Annie both soon realize they have a huge money issue. Annie gets a job at a dime store, and babysit a little girl named Joany but soon quits because they little girl' mother, Bev Karter, is a whore and gets paid by an older man she sleeps with. The Dean set up a meeting with the principal of he near by high school, Lopin High, and Mr.Lopin asks Carl to saty in a cottage near the school's athletc fields an mind the clubhouse and him and Annie can live there for free till a new coach comes to work. Annie is excited to move but sad to leave Mrs. Hansmon and has to move so far away from Henry and Anthon, the florist who she tries to covince to write a story. But she plans to visit and she's excite that her and Carl will have a place of their own. The cottage is in Lopin which is a place where the Lopins live they are peopl with Native American blood and tey are patronized by the University, but the Dean was close to some of them. Annie visited the local grocery store where an angry man and a blonde white pregnant woman who carried a child on her hip. Less, worked. They weren't very friendly with Annie. She also went to the dry goods store and met Miss Aggie who was alot more friendly. Annie then found ot the angry man and Goldie wern't legaly married. Annie was invited to sitin a playwriting class and she excelled intis class, one of her plays got chosen to be published. Annie leans that she is pregnant but hides it from Carl until they get news that they can stay in the cottage. They both are happy butonce again they argue about education and money. The Dean tells Carl to register as a stateresident and he will be given financial loans and to make Carl and Annie's lif have less financial burdens he has Annie go to Dr. Mason who works in the University Hospital where they would only have to pay or the medication. As the story goe on Annie becomes friends with Goldie and wtches her son Less and Carl take summer courses that way his schedule will be more free for the baby and work. They named the baby Carlton and kept the Frat Boys' dog, Jello. Carl graduated law school and him, Annie and baby Carlton moved North where Carl joined a law firm where he would be making 3 to 4 thousand dollars and Annie's play was pubished in a book.

Summary of Characters
  • Carl Brown - He is one of the main characters. He's going to college to be a lawyer and marries Annie. He is also handosme, tall, bolnde and has a very manly look. Carl is 20 years old and extremely mature and clean. He smokes cigarettes and has qutie a few mood swings here and there. But he is madly in love with Annie
  • Annie McGairy - She is the other main character. Annie dropped out of school in the eigth grade to hepl her family with money. She is 18 years old but looks a lot younger. Annie also has sad gray eyes, she's small and slender, with long pretty light brown hair. She marries Carl and feels extremely out of place at Carl's college. She has a hard time speaking and writing due to her lack of educations but she loves to read and write. And she gets to sit in real college classes and she also has a baby.
  • Annie's Mother - She tried to control all of Annie's decision. She is against Annie's decision to marry Carl she thinks that she is much to young to be married and is wasting her time. Annie's mother also got remarried to a man named Dan that has a secret of his own.
  • Carl's Mother - She is very overprotective of Carl. She only wants the best for him and in her mind Annie is not the best. She is 110% against Carl and Annie's marriage. In fact, she gets so mad about it that she makes Carl pay back all the money that her and the rest of the family had lent him while he's in school.
  • Mrs. Hansmon - She owns the house that Annie and Carl live in. She's extremely kind. She also beomes a clse friend of Annie's.
  • Henry - He owns the grocery store that Annie goes to all the time to buy her and Carl food. At first Henry is very rude to Annie and she hates him. Annie ends up talking to Mrs. Hansmon about him and why he's so rude and she learns that Henry lives alone and his son was kille in the Argonne figth and his wife died some years before. As time went on Annie and Henry grow a friendship.
  • Mrs. Ridinski - She works in the cafeteria and has watche over him while he's been in school like he was her own son.
  • Anthony - He is the flourist and is an inspiring writer, like Annie but he fears that he won't be good at it so he never tries.
  • The Dean - He comes off as a very intimidating man but as the story pushes forward he helps Carl and Annie out alot.
  • Proffessor Newcool a.k.a. Prof - He is the teacher of the class that Annie first audits and he helps her get into other english classes.
  • Bev Karter - she is the mother of the child that Annie watched. Bev gets all her money from an older married man that she sleeps with.
  • Albert Lopin - Principal of Lopin High and lets Annie and Carl live in the cottage.
  • Miss Aggie - owner of the dry goods store who befriends Annie right away.
  • Mr. Haise - the playwritting teacher that believes Annie can be a great playwriter someday and wants her play published.
  • Goldie - The mother of the grocery store owner's children who is to "proud" to marry the grocery store owner. But becomes extremely close to Annie once she finds out that she is pregnant and offers to watch her son.
  • Dr. Mason - The doctor that will deliver Annie's baby
  • Jello - the Frat boys dog that stays with Annie and Carl durng the summer.

In the novel there's a section that talks about the Lopin people. These people have some Native American blood in them but are looked down by some of the people in the university. The Lopin people are the university's electricians, plumbers, repairmen, grounds keepers, seamstresses, laundrywomen, baby minders, secrataries, and telephone operators among other things. The university gave them jobs and kept them going. Neither of the two could survive witout the other.
The Lopin and University relationship symbolizes Annie and Carl. Carl goes to school and works ans supports Annie, Annie looks for wor but stays home and takes car of he food, cleaning and laundry, without eachother they wouldn't be able to live the life they live.

Love Conquers All - In the book Annie and Carl face many hardships but teir loves lets them conquer them.

Literary Criticisim

The novel's plot isn't placed in the correct time period. Also throughout the story it's mood changes and mixes to much. The couple face some touching conflicts and arguements and have dramatic ups and downs but they're simply forgotten once you close the book.

Betty Smith's Biography.
external image 9194.jpgBetty Smith was born as Elizabeth Wehner on December 19, 1896 in Brooklyn, NY. Her parents were both German immigrant named, Catherine Hummel, and John Wehner. Betty's father died bfore she reached the age of 12. Her mother remarried a an Irish immigrant named Michael Keogh. Smith dropped out of school at eighth grade to work so her family could make it through economical hard times. Betty did apply to college but was turned down since she never graduated high school. At age 17 Smith left Brooklyn and moved all around New York, but her imagination forever resided in Brooklyn. In 1913 she married a childhood friend from Brooklyn named George H. E. Smith. George attended the University of Michigan for law, where Betty followed him. Betty and George had two children together. George made it possible for Betty to take some classes at the university as a special student. Smith took every writing course she could get her hands on, however she never graduated with a degree. She won an award for a play she wrote called " Fancie Nolan". Betty attended Yale School of Drama to continue her playwriting, she worked with George P. Baker and John Mason Brown for three years. She also participated in Federal Theater projects. In 1934 her and her family moved to Detroit where she wrote for the Detroit Free Press. George and Betty's marriage ended in 1938. Betty knew her passion was writting and she was going to continue to do so no matter how bad the pay was. In 1936 Smith moved to Chapel Hill, NC. She substituted on Rockefeller and Dramatists Guide fellowships at the University of North Carolina. She also played a small part in local productions. In all of Betty Smith's playwriting career she wrote 125 one-act and 7 full-length plays. Most of these play were amateur performances. In 1942 there was a nonfiction contest and Smith submitted a 100-page manuscript. The editors urged to make this a complete novel. In 1943 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This single novel made Betty fame explode. 300,000 copies were sold in 6 weeks. By the time Smith died 6 million copies were produced in 37 printings and it was translated into 16 different languages. The book was later produced as a movie. In 1945 Smith married a newspaperman named Joseph Piper Jones. They met while serving in the army. In 1951 they divorced , they didn't have any children together. Betty also joined the facualty of the University of North Carlonina, and a judge in the Hopwood Drama Contest. She also worked on movie scripts. In 1957 Betty married her last husband Robert Finch. They met by writting plays together. He died in 1959. After the Robert's death Smith devoted her time to teaching a creative writting class at the University of North Carolina starting in 1961. She left an unfinsihed manuscript and autobiography after she died.

Personal Review
In my opinion I feel that Joy in the Morning is based on her life probably in a more dramaticly way. Some of the conversations between Carl and Annie were a little to lovey dovey, and over dramatized. Annoe also seemed way to immature. I did like the story line though and how she made all of their issues turn out for the best in the end, I did like how she showed somebody with a lack of education find their place in life and find their own way of learning. All in all, this story was a classic love story but the dialoge was overly dramatic and cheesey but I would stil reccomend people to read the book it can be pretty inspiring too.

  • "Betty Smith."Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 9: 1971-1975. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale,2010. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC
  • Virgilia Peterson, "Love Conquers All in 1927." in The New York Times book Review(copyrighted 1963 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), August 18, 1963, p. 5.