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‘A child called it’ by Dave Pelzer

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My Specialist Study is based on the novel 'A child called it' by Dave Pelzer. The book is solely based on Dave's triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds, and his indomitable spirit throughout the roughest years of his life. In my essay I will tell you of his life from 4 - 12 years of age. Although this book is mainly about abuse, and I do feel great sympathy towards Dave, it is also about how he used his mother's abuse to help him and gave him the motivation he needed to succeed in life. Dave Pelzer was one of the three most severely abused children in the history of The State of California. The other two are dead. Dave could have been dead too. The first part of Dave's life was idyllic in his memory - he says his family was 'the bunch'- a loving mother and father with whom he enjoyed wonderful holidays and visits to the Russian River. All that changed when Dave was in first grade. For no known reason, his mother singled him out from his siblings and began abusing him. The abuse began relatively mildly. When his brothers did something wrong, Dave was the one to receive punishment - at first it was just banishment to the corner of a bedroom, which quickly lead onto Dave being forced to drink a concoction of Ammonia and Bleach. ...read more.


All because 'The Bitch' said he was a bad boy. The section of the book was so well written, and so descriptive it made me think, how on earth anyone that young could survive such torture, especially a young boy of Dave's age not being able to eat until you were told you could and even then it was scraps from the dinner table which the dogs left. But also wondering if he was so desperate for food, and had tatty old worn clothes, why did no one do anything sooner? It was then I learned that it has not always been the schools responsibility to report suspected child abuse cases, and in the 1970's in the state of California, there were little if any penal codes to protect children or those who reported suspected child abuse cases, and Dave's mother, Catherine Roerva, was not prosecuted due to the lack of laws to protect children. The most horrific and visual description of abuse was when 'The Bitch' was swaying with her baby boy Russell, threatening Dave with a knife, suddenly fell forward and stabbed Dave in the stomach from which he passed out. Dave was sure he would be taken to the hospital but instead his mother put a dressing on it and extended his amount of chore time by 15 minutes. After his mother stabbed him she gives him a glass of water, which with the help of short sentences, demonstrates his need for nourishments "Mother returned with a glass of water. ...read more.


'The Bitch's' mother even received this treatment and presents sent to the children for Christmases were either destroyed or threw in the rubbish. The main theme in this novel is child abuse, which I think is demonstrated quite clearly. However there is a few underlying themes which are brought to your attention as you read the book, Survival is one of the themes and also the triumph over insurmountable odds, which Dave has quite clearly done by using his hatred for his mother and anger of being abused for so long and changed all that into positive energy and used it to make him the man he is today. This is shown when Dave uses his mother's words and changes them into energy to motivate him into making something of him self. And for that alone I respect him. When researching for my Specialist Study I received some information from various websites such as www.davepelzer.com and also www.amazon.co.uk/exec/books. I used these websites to obtain facts such as the time that reporting child abuse became mandatory, and also about Dave's career in the U S Air force. Also I looked at FAQs from fans of Dave's books and found out that he doesn't hate his mother and used to visit her when he had leave. ?? ?? ?? ?? 'A child called it' by Dave Pelzer Jackie Mitchell ...read more.

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