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Free Study Guide-Summer Of My German Soldier by Bette Greene-Book Notes
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CHAPTER 4

Summary

After waiting on Anton, Patty takes the bag of change, from the bank, back to her mother. Pearl criticizes Patty, which makes her so upset that she lies about a conversation that she had with Mrs. Jackson. Patty keeps thinking of Anton and is anxious to tell someone about him: Sister Parker. Patty decided to bring up the topic of the war instead of immediately telling Sister Parker of her soldier of interest. When Patty tells Sister Parker about Anton she suddenly feels betrayed by herself and her desire to always tell people things. She then lies about the conversation she had with Anton.

Patty decides to visit Edna Louise Jackson and tell her that she likes Anton. Edna Louise Jackson has a reputation of being “boy crazy” (53); Patty feels that Edna Louise will understand her story. Patty tells Edna Louise that the boy she likes is a German soldier; Edna Louise’s unfavorable reaction takes Patty by surprise and she leaves.

Notes

In this chapter we see more of Patty’s insecurities surface: she embellishes stories and even lies to capture the attention of others. When Patty’s mother questions her as to what she has to talk about with Mrs. Jackson, she lies and tells her mother that Mrs. Jackson commented on her wonderful manners. Patty is jealous of her mother’s beauty and her “prize saleslady” (49) attitude. She also feels neglected, due to her mother’s lack of attention; it becomes apparent, in this chapter that Patty lies to try and gain attention from others.


Patty is anxious to tell someone about Anton; she chooses Sister Parker. While Patty was talking with Sister Parker, she showed signs of boredom and disinterest; this causes Patty to lie about her conversation with Anton. She told Sister Parker that Anton hated Hitler because he had killed his family and that he prayed for the Americans to win the war.

On her way home, Patty decides to stop at Edna Louise’s house to talk with her. Patty’s insecurities and longing desire for friends also becomes apparent when she says:

“I tried to tell myself that Edna Louise would be glad to see me, especially if she didn’t have any other visitors. After all, any company is better than no company, isn’t it” (53)?

Through Patty’s description of Edna Louise, we learn that she is elegant, the daughter of a rich man, and very intelligent.

When Patty tells Edna Louise that Anton is a German soldier, she reacts with dramatic disapproval; she states that, “That’s almost as bad as going out with a nigger” (55)! Edna Louise’s response exemplifies the town’s racism toward Germans and African Americans.

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