Describe David's physical appearance and injuries in the book.

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the bruises that my colleague described, there were also slash-marks on David's face. When the nurse examined him, she could see old knife scars on David's chest.

During a beating, David's mother pulled his left arm out of its socket. As a result of the injury, the arm hung uselessly, and his mother was forced to take him to the hospital. In another instance, David's tongue was lacerated and torn from being forced to drink ammonia; when he dared to look in the mirror, he saw that his tongue was "red and raw," with "layers of flesh" scraped away.

David's mother imposed arbitrary rules on him; among the rules was that David was not allowed to play on the grass. One day, David's mother supposedly caught him playing on the grass during recess at school. For his "disobedience," David's mother turned on the gas stove and held his arm over a burner; this caused David's arm to sustain horrific burn injuries.

However, the worst injury David sustained was a knife stab in the region of his lower chest and upper stomach. After the stabbing, David's wound became infected and oozed yellowish-white pus. With no alternative, he had to clean himself of the pus until his blood flowed red again.

So, it was no accident that, when the nurse finally examined him, David had broken teeth, burn marks, bruises all over his body, and stab wounds on his chest. Additionally, since he was never allowed to put on clean clothes, his clothes were filthy and smelly.

dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

David's physical appearance degenerates as the abuse by his mother becomes more intense. His body is clustered with bumps and bruises. His teeth are chipped from his mother smashing his face on the kitchen counter.  His clothing are dirty, his shirts look like 'swiss chees' because of the numerous holes in them. His shoes have a hole so large he can push is big toe through it. David smells because he is not permitted to wash himself, even after he has soiled himself.  Moreover, David usually had very little to eat, if anything therefore he often looked weak and run down.