Summer of My German Soldier Questions and Answers
by Bette Greene

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What about Patty and her parents in The Summer of My German Soldier? Why does she lie about the P.O.W's?

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the book, it is clear that Patty doesn't have a good relationship with her parents. Patty's mother seems overly focused on her daughter's looks. In the first chapter, Mrs. Bergen criticizes Patty in front of Mrs. Fields; she complains that Patty is less particular about her looks than Sharon (Patty's sister).

Whenever Mrs. Bergen gets a chance, she berates Patty about her lack of beauty, finesse, and poise. As a result, Patty feels unloved and marginalized. Patty is often forced to compete for her father's attention as well. In chapter 1, she makes up a story about the POWs, characterizing them as "big and mean-looking" criminals. Patty tells her father that one of the POWs tried to escape after disembarking. According to Patty, one of the guards noticed the lone prisoner's suspicious behavior and proceeded to unleash some brutal words of warning against him.

Of course, this...

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