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Free Study Guide for Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES


CHAPTER 5


Summary

The chapter opens with Patty and her grandmother spending the day together as they had previously planned. They have lunch and go shopping; Patty notes that this day has been the best time she has had all summer. She hopes to make plans with her grandmother the next week but is informed that she and her grandfather will be away. Patty returns home very disappointed.

At home no one has time for Patty; Sharon is spending everyday playing with her friend, Ruth is preoccupied with worries about her son, Robert, her acquaintances, including Edna Louise are at Baptist Training Camp, and her parents are behaving as the usual. Patty spends her days riding around the German prison camp in search of Anton, or in her hide-out.

One afternoon, while Patty is sitting outside deciding what to do, Freddy Dowd comes over to play with her. They decide to play a game where they throw rocks and aim for the center of the hubcap, of cars passing by. Patty throws a rock at the first car to ride by and inadvertently breaks the car window. She runs and hides behind her house.

Patty asks Ruth to lend her the money so she can repay the family for the broken window. Just as she is about to search for the family, in town, her father appears, fully knowledgeable about what happened, and beats Patty.



Notes

In this chapter it is important to note how Patty longs for the company of a friend. The chapter opens with Patty spending the day with her grandmother. Patty enjoys this so much that she hopes to see her grandmother again the next week. She is very upset when her grandmother tells her she will be away.

Patty longs to be a part of a group; it is often suggested that Patty wishes she was a different person. This is exemplified when she describes to her mother how she wishes she was at Baptist camp with Edna Louise-a girl whom was earlier described as merely an acquaintance of Patty.

As the summer passes Patty becomes increasingly more neglected: Edna Louise and some other classmates are attending Baptist camp, Ruth is preoccupied with her work and thoughts of her son, Robert, and Sharon spent all of her time with her friend, Sue Ellen. The only thing Patty enjoyed doing was fixing up her “hide-out” (59).

Patty again speaks of her jealousy toward her younger sister. She notes that she is very pretty and that everybody says that she looks just like her mother, with her black air and dark eyes. Patty has noted in previous chapters how striking her mother is.

A very important point is made when Patty tells us of one of her dreams: She dreams to have a horse who she would name “Evol”. Patty would ride Evol in search of a real mother. She says that when she finds her real mother she will know that “Evol” is really the word “love” in reverse. This theme is seen throughout the novel and is the essence of what Patty desires in life: love. She wants a mother that will love her; she wants to feel and express love.


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