Maltreatment In David Pelzer's A Child Called It

Good Essays
Maltreatment Experienced Throughout Eyes of Pure innocence

According to Papalia and Feldman, an estimation of a tragic 905,000 cases were received by child protective services in response to about 3.3 million referrals regarding maltreatment within six million children in the year of 2006. One of the six million children include, David Pelzer. David, in his awe-inspiring novel, A Child Called It, takes the reader upon an unfortunate path as he reflects upon the deplorable life struggles he experienced from the cruel actions of his abusive alcoholic mother. Despite the never ending struggles throughout his daily life at such a young age, David learns to become resilient as time progresses. Keeping in mind that writing this autobiographical
…show more content…
Pelzer informs the reader that his family was like that of “the ‘Brady Bunch’ of the 1960’s” and that “[their] every whim was fulfilled with love and care’ (Pelzer, 15). They would often go on vacation where his mother was known as the “mastermind” due to her excessive planning of fun activities upon their travels (Pelzer,19). As if “Everyday seemed sprinkled with magic,” things started to take a turn for the worse David himself states, “ My relationship with my mom drastically changed from discipline that developed into a kind of lifestyle that grew out of control. It became so bad at times. I had no strength to crawl away-even if it meant saving my life” (Pelzer, 19-20). David had the misfortune of having to endure emotional abuse from his mother. Emotional abuse can be defined as “rejection, terrorization, isolation, exploitation, degradation, ridicule, or failure to provide emotional support, love and affection” (Papalia & Feldman p. 161). An Example of such abuse that David had experienced, was when his mother degraded him by referring to him as an “it”. Proclaiming his own mother as, “the Bitch,” David’s experiences emotional maltreatment as his mother screams, “you’re a nobody! An It! You are non-existent! You are a bastard child! I hate you! And I wish you were dead! Dead! Did you hear me? Dead!”(Pelzer, 140). This quote is an example of emotional maltreatment…show more content…
Then she would order me to say

over and over again, “I’m a bad boy! I’m a bad boy! I’m a bad boy!” I was

then forced to stand, staring into the mirror. I would stand there with my

hands locked to my sides, weaving back and forth, dreading the moment when

the second set of television commercials aired (Pelzer, 21-22).

Other examples of physical abuse which David received included the never ending punches from his mother when she felt they were acceptable, when in truth, they were for pure pleasure. Also, the burning incident his mother performed on him because “[He] made [her] life a living hell!” and it was “time [she] showed [him] what hell [was] like!” (Pelzer, 28). This incident David depicted for the reader included his mother forcefully placing his arm above a burning flame upon the kitchen stove. The physical abuse David endured was one in which he would never forget. Luke and Banerjee state that children who are abused physically are more likely to develop “problematic peer relationships” aside from their peers who do not receive maltreatment. David is an

Get Access