Essay about A Child Called It - 3

Submitted By fillymon1
Words: 708
Pages: 3

July 23, 2010 The title of Dave Pelzer’s memoir, A Child Called “It,” gives the reader an idea of the plot even before the first few pages, drawing the reader’s focus on Dave’s life as a child. When he is young, he is referred to as an “it” rather than a “he” or “him,” thus explaining the source of the title. Dave Pelzer intends that this title describe the extreme cruelty he suffers during his childhood. The pain he endures manifests in the moment when his mother stabs him in the chest with a butcher knife. Dave continually experiences torment. Any other title would not carry the same weight as the one he has chosen for this work. When Dave’s mother calls him an “it,” the word cuts him to the core; there is no other insult or game that hurts him more than hearing his mother’s label for him. The continuing use of the term “it” and the lack of love surrounding the word convey the severity of Dave’s early years. Even though parts of the work depict happier times in Dave’s life, the title focuses the reader’s attention on the bad times Dave experiences. There are several places in this memoir that show Dave’s happy reminiscences as a child, but each recollection is minimal compared to the numerous harsh realities that haunt him daily. Reading the title diminishes any positive thoughts one might have about Dave’s finally having a peaceful relationship with his mother. Beginning to read the narrative, one immediately starts to imagine the worst possible thoughts about Dave’s difficult life at home. His mother forces him to play gruesome games such as making him breathe in ammonia for long lengths of time in a confined space. Through Dave’s retelling of his toxic childhood, he opens the reader’s eyes to the harsh reality of child abuse, a prevalent problem. Dave wants victims to be motivated to take positive action. Perhaps he can help to stop child abuse from happening to someone else. Certainly people who read this memoir are now even more acutely aware of child abuse and how serious a problem it is. Upon seeing any signs of abuse of a child, people must alert the proper authorities. The longer a person waits to call the right agencies to report child abuse, the greater chance there is that the child will die. A different title would not accurately portray the raw emotions the memoir depicts. The title and the story show how difficult a plight Dave’s childhood is. The title summarizes Dave’s abuse by his mother, and the climax occurs the moment his mother calls him an “it.” Hearing those words come from Mrs. Pelzer’s mouth is worse than any of the “games” he experiences. The phrase “You are nothing, an “it,” cuts straight to Dave’s core, and hurts…