What is the author saying about the world in A Child Called It?

1 Answer | Add Yours

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In the novel "A Child Called It, David Pelzer recounts the horrifying events which surrounded his childhood. Renowned for his honesty in detailing his abusive childhood, Pelzer never fails to leave anything out of the details. Typically, readers come away from the text in shock that "this actually happens" to children. Regardless, Pelzer's story contains more than a horrific account of abuse, it contains a much deeper meaning: the importance of hope.

For Pelzer, it was his hope which allowed to to survive. Many times throughout the text, David describes the abuse that her endured knowing that it would either end or kill him. While some may not see the later as being an appropriate end, for David, it would end his abuse. He hoped for the abuse to stop; either through his mother tiring from her alcohol-infused outbursts or, initially, through his own death.

In one account of his abuse, David speaks of implicitly about his hope:

Suddenly I began to realize the longer I could keep myself off the top of the stove, the better my chances were for staying alive.

David, here, had hope that he would be able to do whatever it would take to stay off the stove and, by doing so, extend his life.

At another point in the story, David speaks of the hope that he has for survival:

I wanted to just lie down and quit, but the promise that I made years ago kept me going. I wanted to show The Bitch that she could beat me only if I died, and I was determined not to give in, even to death.

This hope of survival was what kept David strong enough to survive.

Another idea that David spoke about implicitly was determination. While he was determined to survive, as stated in his previous quote, his determination extended well past the desire to beat his mother at her games.  David was determined to do what he needed to to live. He stole food, kept the abuse secret (until he was forced to let the secret go), and endured everything his mother did to him. It was this determination which helped David to survive his horribly (no word is really strong enough to describe David's life) abusive life.

Ultimately, one could justify that wanted to tell his story, not only so that other children who have been or are being abused knew that they were not alone, so that he could offer the world a story about hope and determination. That no matter what one faces in life, as long as they have these two things, hope and determination will save your life.

We’ve answered 317,692 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question