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Child Abuse And The Importance Of Belonging Discussed In David Pelzer's A Child Called It

1683 words - 7 pages

A Child Called "It" explores the traumatic story of child abuse and how the choices made by one person affects another’s sense of belonging. The story is only from one point of view as it’s a biography, written by the man who experienced trauma at such a tender age. David Pelzer, as a child, dealt with rejection daily and not only from his mother but classmates, teachers and ultimately his biggest enemy, himself.

A Child Called "It", as the title denotes depreciation and an impersonal relationship between the audience and the text, begins the biography with a dark and solemn theme as there is no definition for ‘it’ therefore titling a book ‘a child called it’ gives the audience the idea that the child doesn’t exist, or as it tells further in the story, a child who is treated like he doesn’t exist. The author contrasts his mother in different contexts from when his ‘mom’ was a good, caring mum to when his ‘mother’ changed into the abusive stage. Mom and Mother are used throughout the text to show the audience the different emotions he had carried for her. Mom is more personal and informal but suggests a close relationship between the two as it is used in the chapters that he is reminiscing about when his mom was a normal, caring mom. Mother is used in the chapters he was abused in and suggests a more distant relationship due to the formal language structure. When ‘Mom’ was used, the emotions carried out towards her by David Pelzer were none other than belonging to her.

When a child is told something so often they start to believe it. In this case, David Pelzer was ordered to say over and over again “I’m a bad boy, I’m a bad boy...” which psychologically brainwashed him to believe that he was. That every time he was physically, mentally, socially or spiritually abused he thought it was because of something he did. Being psychologically brainwashed resulted in David feeling like he didn’t belong with his family, especially his mother.

David never belonged in the later stages of his life when his mother turned abusive as he was always the odd one out at school and home, even writing “the reject of fifth grade”. When David talks about his abuse he uses irony such as “mothers game she played against me” to evoke emotional disgust in the audience as if to say that’s how she considers abusing a child, a game!

“I want so much to be liked, to be loved” evokes a sudden sadness in the audience as they realise how much he doesn’t belong with his mother. Socially he is ‘rejected’ from his classmates and his siblings and mentally and physically abused by his mother. This quotation represents in the text how much he is trying to fit into his family and classmates trying to be what everyone wants, trying to belong like he used to before his mother got ‘sick’.

Before David’s mother became an abusive mother she was a normal, caring parent who would have never been thought of to hurt her children even said by David himself he considered them...

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