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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 10


Summary

Charlene and Patty return home. Patty thinks about Charlene’s suggestion about Patty becoming a reporter but Patty notes that there is something more that she would rather do with her life.

Patty takes food and clothes to Anton. She recalls a memory from Father’s day the year earlier: She wanted to get her father something very nice for Father’s day. She bought a nice, Egyptian cotton shirt, complete with her father’s initials embroidered on it. She envisioned that when she gave him the shirt, he would love it and take her in his arms. When Patty gave her father the shirt, he mumbled a ‘thank you’ and that was it. She tried to emphasize the essence of the shirt but he shunned her, seeming annoyed. Patty decides to give this shirt to Anton.

As Patty and Anton are talking, Patty suddenly becomes very self-conscious. She gets angry with Anton because he has not asked her to come away with him after the war. Patty then feels that Anton is just being nice to her because she is protecting him.

Freddy Dowd came over to play with Patty after she left the hideout. Her mother and father come home and see Patty, far away from the house and with Freddy; her father beats her again for disobeying him. Patty sees Anton run out of his hiding spot toward her and her father and she screams for him to return.


Notes

Patty gives Anton the expensive shirt, which is a symbol of her problems with her parents. Her mother had disparaged Patty’s desire to purchase something expensive and her father barely thanked her for the shirt. Anton is very responsive and appreciative of the shirt.

When Harry is beating Patty, for playing with Freddy Dowd, Anton comes rushing out of the hideout to save Patty. This is very important because here we see that Anton loves Patty very much and would risk his life to help her.



CHAPTER 11


Summary

Patty’s mother notices that some of their food has been missing; she blames Ruth and says that she would consider firing her. Patty overheard the conversation and added that she had finished off the last of the food. Patty’s mother was angry and her father noted that Patty could eat whatever she wanted.

After Patty’s parents go off to work, Ruth and Patty talk over breakfast. Ruth asks Patty about the man in her life; she had seen Anton running to help Patty as her father was beating her. Patty says that Anton and Ruth are her only friends. Ruth asks Patty if Anton is the German soldier for who the FBI is searching. Patty does not lie and replies that he is.

Patty goes to the hideout to see Anton and she admits, for the first time, that she does not like her father. Anton compares her father to Adolf Hitler, in that they are both very cruel people.

Ruth called up to the two that their breakfast was ready; Anton panicked that Patty had told someone his secret. She replied that it was only Ruth and that Ruth had seen Anton risk his safety for Patty, while her father was beating her.


Notes

In this chapter we learn a little more about Patty’s father. When Patty’s mother was angry with Patty for eating the last of the food, her father stood up for her and said that she could eat anything she wanted. This is one of the first times we see Patty’s father actually standing up for her. Patty then recalls a story when her family was out for dinner and her father wanted her to order expensive steak; Patty’s mother thought that it would be a waste of money for Patty to order the steak.

This makes more sense when Anton tells Patty that he heard her father talking to himself after he beat her. Anton said that Patty’s father came into the garage and talked to himself, saying, “Nobody loves me. In my whole life nobody has ever loved me” (133). We now see that Patty’s father also feels very devoid of love and that he probably does love Patty; however, he reflects his anger and lack of fulfillment, probably on one of the only people who he loves: Patty.

We also learn, in this chapter, why Anton had run out of his hiding spot at the end of the previous chapter: he was so upset that Patty’s father was beating her, that he risked his own safety to try and help her. At the end of this chapter Anton says that he never imagined that he would voluntarily risk his life for anyone. We see more of Anton’s character and how much he cares for Patty.


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