At the beginning of the novel, Patty's loyalty is to her country and her family, and her life is spent trying to fit into the demands that they place on her. As the plot develops, she gradually replaces this sense of duty with one based on emotions and personal responsibilities instead. In this way, her loyalty to Anton means that she is disloyal both her country and her parents: she must decide if friendship or patriotic duty is more important.
An unreliable narrator is one whose version of events cannot be accepted at face value.
This can be for a variety of reasons. If the narrator is very young, or involved in the action, the narrative will not be objective. In some novels, such as Moll Flanders , by Daniel Defoe , the narrator is actively engaged in conning the reader—making up events and providing false interpretations in order to create a specific effect.
Because she is unaware of many of her own feelings, Patty is unable to give a full account of her motives throughout the novel.
The reliability of Patty's version of events is complicated even more by her active imagination. She lies to herself and the people around her, and her perceptions of the world are filtered through fantasies and wish-fulfillment. This is her mental defense against the reality of her violent and neglectful home life.
Patty is open about her need for exaggeration and outright fabrication, recounting events and conversations, and then immediately passing them on to others in completely different forms. By the end of the novel, Patty has learned to tell the truth. Moreover, she can finally express her disappointment at, and anger with, her parents. However, she is still unaware of some key facets of the world around her, especially the facts of the Holocaust, so her narrative reflects a distorted worldview.
The narrative "holes" created by this distortion make the novel more powerful by forcing the reader to complete Patty's story for her. The half-way house of the correctional facility in which she waits at the novel's conclusion thus becomes symbolic of her growing awareness. World War II had a great impact on daily life in America.
Like the Bergens, Americans were subjected to rationing of supplies such as milk, butter, and gasoline. The shortage of able-bodied male workers forced industry to hire previously marginalized workers, which opened up career opportunities for women. The heroic American working woman was idealized as " Rosie the Riveter.
The government contracted out POW labor to private citizens, with over half of the contracts going to farm work. In the South , POWs picked cotton, cut sugarcane, and harvested tobacco. Nearly , Germans were held in U. Conditions in the POW camps were relatively pleasant, allowing the prisoners to cook for themselves and spend limited amounts of money at their own discretion. Some POWs made friends with Americans from the surrounding communities. However, there was great tension surrounding such relationships, and frequent panics about escapes.
There were 2, escapes during the war, and fifty-six prisoners were shot while attempting to escape. Thirty-four of them died. The German government seized property and businesses from Jewish citizens in the s; in addition, laws were passed to take away their civil liberties and rights. After the invasion of Poland in , this systematic destruction of rights turned into an attempt to exterminate Judaism in Europe. As the Nazi forces invaded Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union , Jewish people were gathered into ghettoes, and then imprisoned in labor camps, concentration camps, and death camps.
Six million European Jews had been killed by the end of the war in During the s, many famous industry leaders and public figures supported the Nazi Party in the United States. Henry Ford was one of these men sympathetic to anti-Semitic views. His views were similar to those of many Americans who are cynical about the war, angry at the loss of American life, and sick of rationing. A poll revealed that fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that Jews hold too much power in the United States—a two-hundred percent increase in the results of the same poll taken in In Patty Bergen's Arkansas, Jews make up a very small fraction of the population.
Summer Of My German Soldiera Unit Plan Based On The Book By Bette Greene
After achieving independence from French control in , Vietnam was split north and south of the 17th parallel. The most organized resistance group, the Viet Minh , went to North Vietnam, where they formed a communist state. South Viet-nam remained a non-communist state. Under the Geneva Accords, free elections were due to be held on the issue of unity. The Viet Minh fully expected to win, but the leader of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem , refused to hold the election, which was in violation of international law but with the support of the United States. The North Vietnamese decided to unify Vietnam by force.
The United States supported the increasingly unpopular regime in South Vietnam with military and financial aid. As the numbers of South Vietnamese insurgents increased, President Kennedy committed more and more American troops to the region, and by the end of there were 11, U. In , after North Vietnamese forces fired upon a U. The conflict escalated: American troop strength was , by In the United States, resistance to war mounted steadily.
Troop withdrawal began in , but the conflict widened. Under President Nixon, U. Forces invaded Cambodia, sparking an intense wave of antiwar action. The remaining U. More than 47, Americans died during the war. As is the case with many great works of children's literature, Summer of My German Soldier was largely ignored by the critics upon its publication. In fact, despite being nominated for multiple awards, Greene's book received only one major review. However, Summer of My German Soldier has become a popular favorite and a classroom staple. In his New York Times Book Review review, Peter Saurian highlights both the strengths of the novel and the possible reasons that it escaped critical attention at the time.
He asserts that "in some ways Bette Greene's material is not promising.
Her characters could easily have come out of a melodrama. Saurian reads the novel as a "finely hewn" presentation of emotional complexity, suggesting that the characters who surround Patty offer multifaceted foils against which her character can define itself. Anton gives her "the delicately conveyed gift of her own value. Arguing against a dismissive reception of the novel, Saurian summarizes the impact of the novel with the conclusion that "the stuff of it is fine, like the texture of Patty herself.
The detail is too meaningfully specific, too highly selective to be trite. While Saurian's review focused on the new emotional density that Greene brought to a relatively simple story, a later review dismissed the novel to such an extent that it got the basic facts wrong. Despite this lack of critical reception, the novel has remained a favorite of both the classroom and the home, and some of the richest reviews of Greene's work can be found in student responses as well as lessons plans.
Osa contends that the similarity of the two novels can inspire children from a variety of backgrounds to an awareness and appreciation of different cultures. Summer of My German Soldier is also a key work in many online learning programs and home school plans, for the same reason that Saurian's review singled it out for praise—it combines fine writing with an accessible, "issue-based" historical plot that lends itself easily to thematic and cultural analysis. In the following essay she analyzes the themes of racial, social, and self-awareness in Greene's Summer of My German Soldier.
Silence and deferred knowledge—both historical and personal—play crucial roles in Summer of My German Soldier. That which is unsaid, or unrealized, lies at the heart of Greene's novel. Just as Patty is slowly adding to her vocabulary word by word, day by day, so the book gradually adds to her consciousness. Significantly, her favorite words—those she will share with her little sister—include the key psychological term, "ego.
Summer of My German Soldier Lesson Plans for Teachers | deofagoldterrant.ml
Her first-person narrative becomes structured as an infinite series of epiphanies that culminate in key revelations, the most obvious of which is her realization that she doesn't like her parents. Her thought processes leading up to this revelation are carefully laid out—the unconscious anger, harsh language, and continual self-editing creating the outlines of an emotion that Patty cannot bring herself to name until the final pages of her story. In the same way, the more pointedly social unconscious links and drives of the world inside and around her are densely crowded on Patty, her town, and the text.
Throughout Summer of My German Soldier , historical and social silence are elevated to such a degree that the town of Jenkinsville becomes, finally, devoid of all meaning. When the townspeople shout, "Jew Nazi! The story tracks the operations of Patty's mind perfectly, revealing an embryonic self that attains greater and greater autonomy as her narrative moves forward.
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The gradual accretion and collection of word associations and thought patterns is stressed and illustrated throughout the novel. Patty's silences are deliberately and carefully constructed defenses against true recognition of the world. The issues about which she cannot bring herself to think, speak, or provide comment are connected to race and prejudice. An early example in the novel sets up this paradigm of simultaneous recognition and silence. In her memory of the Chu Lee grocery story—whose owners have been evicted in a quasi-lynching—she evinces a careful and fragile reconstruction of the palpable reality of hatred in front of her, saying, "there's probably a simple logical explanation.
It couldn't be what I think. In response to her questions about the incident, he tells her that she is "never in [her] life to mention it again. This simultaneous presence and absence of "what Patty thinks" is the key element in her evolving relationship with Ruth.