In chapter 19 of Summer of My German Soldier, why is Patty confused when the judge calls her a disloyal traitor? 

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lschertz | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Here is what Patty has to say on the matter:

“The whole thing is, and I thought about it quite a lot, it’s not true what they said about me. In court they called me a person of no loyalties—a traitor. But it just couldn’t be true ’cause it was my loyalties that got me into trouble in the first place, know what I mean?”

Let's dissect.  The judge says that Patty is a traitor because she is fraternizing with the enemy; in fact, she is helping the enemy - Anton - escape punishment for his 'evil deeds.' The judge sees loyalty in terms of being loyal to one's country.

However, Patty sees loyalty as being loyal to the people about whom one cares.  Patty cares about Anton - considers him her friend - so she feels that by helping him escape, by hoping and praying for his freedom and safety, she is being loyal. She is loyal to Anton, and in turn, loyal to herself and her beliefs.

So, the judge - and most of the characters - see loyalty as defending one's country, or a sense of duty for one's country.  Patty sees loyalty as helping and caring about those people that she loves. Therefore, she is confused when she is called disloyal.


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