Child Called 'It' by Dave Pelzer Term Paper

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Child Called it

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and analyze the book "A Child Called it: One Child's Courage to Survive" by David Pelzer. Specifically it will discuss and critique the book, noting the five most significant points the author makes in the book, and how it relates to sociology. Pelzer's book follows the life of Dave, actually the author's own life story, and how he escaped abuse and violence by his mother. It follows his life from the age of four to 18, and gives a glimpse into the man he has become, a writer, social worker, and father.

Early in the book, Dave indicates one of the most important aspects of this book and his own life. He has the will to survive, no matter what, and that will is all that gets him through his experiences sometimes. He writes, "Mother can beat me all she wants, but I haven't let her take away my will to somehow survive" (Pelzer 4). This will is what will seem him through difficult times ahead and ensure that despite a dysfunctional family and abuse, he will survive, and grow into a viable and purpose-driven adult who is concerned with abusive families and works with at-risk youth.

One passage that illustrates just how desperate Dave's situation was comes in Chapter 6.

Like all good things that happened to me, Mother put an end to Father helping me with the dishes. She insisted that the Boy needed no help. She said that Father paid too much attention to me and not enough to others in the family. Without a fight, Father gave up. Mother now had complete control over everybody in the household (Pelzer 103).

This is an extremely significant point in the book because it shows how very alone young Dave is, and how his mother manages to manipulate and control everyone in the book. It also shows that his father was weak, and allows his wife to dominate and control him, when he should have been taking charge of a bad situation. His father eventually leaves, leaving Dave alone with his violent and combative mother and that is a sign of his weakness and lack of responsibility for the safety and well-being of his family, as well. The family is an all-important unit in society, and abandoning the family results in many difficulties with identity, abandonment, and trust issues in the children of these families, and all of these issues affected Dave during his life.

Of course, another one of the most important aspects of the book is the intervention by the school staff, who finally call in the authorities after years of viewing Dave's abuse and doing nothing. From the fifth grade, Dave is taken to social services, where he is finally "free" from his mother. It is difficult for him to comprehend at first, but this is the moment when his life changes for the better, and when he begins to have a "normal" life again, after years of abuse and hatred.

Another significant aspect of the book and its sociological impact is that for many years, the family was a "model" family, living happily with love and affection for each other. They did all the traditional nuclear family activities, like trips to the park, vacations, Christmas celebrations, and all the other things that make up traditional family life in our society. Then, his mother changes, and all of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Child Called 'It' by Dave Pelzer.  (2007, November 23).  Retrieved January 27, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Child Called 'It' by Dave Pelzer."  23 November 2007.  Web.  27 January 2020. <>.

Chicago Format

"Child Called 'It' by Dave Pelzer."  November 23, 2007.  Accessed January 27, 2020.