In which part of "Summer of My German Soldier" does it mention how Patty improved her self esteem? Which chapter?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Patty finally begins to believe that she is not a bad person at the end of Chapter 20, when Ruth comes to visit her in the Reformatory.  In desperation, she asks Ruth, "What's really wrong with me...there's gotta be something or I wouldn't always be getting into trouble, having people hate me".  Ruth insists, "there ain't nothing bad about you, and that's the God's truth", and points out that Ruth loved Patty best "from that first day (she) walked into (her) house", and that Anton loved her enough to be willing to give his own life to save her.  Ruth also boldly tells Patty that there is something lacking in her parents, and that if they don't love her, it is their own fault.

Patty kisses the ring Anton gave her as a sign of his love and thankfulness, and thinks over what Ruth says.  She finally realizes that she is indeed "a good person", and understands that the "whispering going on inside (her)" has been telling her that all along.  Ruth suggests that the whispering might be the voice of God, but Patty thinks it is truth - "truth growing inside like a baby, and for a long time it was just too little...to say anything...but day by day it gains strength".  Patty doesn't know yet to what use she will put the newfound truth of her worth, but she does recognize that "in spite of everything...(she) (doesn't) feel bad, not anymore...and right now that seems important" (Chapter 20). 

Read the study guide:
Summer of My German Soldier

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question