Character Analysis: Summer Of My German Soldier

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Change has two simple versions of itself, in my opinion: painful change and untroubled change. Patty Bergen, the protagonist of Summer of my German Soldier, suffers from painful change, but it teaches her how to achieve self-love and the feeling of significance. She faces numerous difficulties throughout the book, including separation from people she loves, beatings, and racism. Despite all these factors trying to bring Patty down, by the end of the novel she is no longer the self-conscious, troubled girl we saw at the start; Patty is now a woman, one who will never doubt herself and knows she is important to this world.

At the beginning of Summer of my German Soldier Patty is very insecure and most of the people in her home treat her as less.
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Anton shows her that she has to believe in herself, “‘I want you to always remember that you are a person of value, and you have a friend who loved you enough to give you his most prized possession’” (134-135); she is not all the insults her parents dish out. This influence from Anton causes Patty’s becomes more controlled by her own thoughts, “Hold me here, old lady, if you must. Imprison me and disfigure me, but my thoughts are all my own” (68). This girl knows what she wants to do, and no longer regards what others want her to do. Even so, the situation shown before, where Anton is leaving, is still uncontrolled by her, so she has barely any chance to fulfill her plan, “‘Oh, Anton, let me be with you, go where you go.’ His thumb pressed against my palm. ‘You know what you are asking me is impossible,’” (133). Ruth Hughes, the Bergen family’s maid, also helps Patty along the way, reminding her that she is a wonderful person, not an ugly girl and nothing more “‘You shore is gonna be somethin’.’ Ruth gave a sigh filled with pride” (195). Due to the encouragement and love Anton and Ruth gave Patty, she is soon to be a self-loving, confident young

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