Dave Pelzer Theme

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A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer is the tragic story of Dave Pelzer’s childhood from ages four to twelve (Pelzer, xi). By defying all odds Dave survived his highly abusive alcoholic mother who referred to him not as a child but as an “it” (Pelzer, 30, 140). From being punched, forced to eat ammonia, and even stabbed, Dave’s story is regarded as one of the worst child abuse cases ever in California history (Pelzer, 3, 74, 87, book blurb). Dave’s mom was not always an abusive witch. According to Dave, “In the years before I was abused, my family was the “Brady Bunch” of the 1960’s” (Pelzer, 17). David’s mom would plan vacations and daytrips for him and his family (Pelzer, 25). These fun times abruptly ended when his relationship with his mother changed from discipline to punishment which grew out of control. Dave’s parents started fighting, especially over how to treat David. This angered his mother and caused her to treat david cruelly through physical and mental abuse (Pelzer, 29-31). As Dave grew older his mother found a more efficient form of punishment-starvation. She would forget to feed him or just give him …show more content…

Dave state's, “Mother can beat me up all she wants, but I haven’t let her take my will to somehow survive” (Pelzer, 4). Throughout the plot, dave focusses all of his will into surviving. Although forced to endure horrendous acts of cruelty, he miraculously is able to maintain hope and courage. Dave refuses to lose faith and is able to prove that no matter what his mother does to him, she can never truly beat him. A turning point in Daids childhood was the gas stove incident. David outsmarted his mother by stalling her until his brother arrived so that he would not have to climb on top of a running gas stove. This made him realize that he could survive by outsmarting his mother. He vowed in that moment to never give up the will to live (Pelzer,

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