Literary Elements Paper
May 8, 2012
A Child Called “It”
The main characters are David Pelzer and Mrs. Pelzer, his mom. David is a little boy who goes to Thomas Edison ES and wears holey shoes, worn-out jeans, and same long-sleeve shirt. He is a survivor from child abuse. He was hopeful and wouldn’t give up trying to escape from his home. David’s mother doesn’t wear make-up, has frazzled clumps of hair, and is overweight. She is very torturous towards David. She likes to drink a lot and whenever it came to being outside of her home, she would tell David to lie about his bruises or scars and say they were just accidents. He puts up with a lot of his mother’s abuse and is a very strong kid. David is the protagonist and his mom would be the antagonist. They are both round characters. David could also be a dynamic character too.
The book starts from when David was a little boy around age 4 until the age of 12. Throughout his childhood, his mother makes him starve for food. She calls him names like “IT” and “The Boy” and she makes him feel less than a dog. At some point, she ends up stabbing him with a knife. But then in March of 1973, the school nurse, Miss Moss, and Mr. Hansen report the truth of what has been happening to David. Officer Smith takes David to the police station then calls David’s mom. Soon after, he takes David and they happen to be on a highway with a sign saying “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HIGHWAY IN THE WORLD”. The officer tells David that he is now free. David enjoys what he has now. He had enlisted in the United Start Air Force. One day, he went back to the cabin where years ago he used to go with his family but now he has taken his son. They appreciate the place and David thinks back to his past. He starts crying. Stephen, his son, tells his dad that the cabin is now his favorite place. It is David’s favorite place still too. Stephen knows why his dad is crying and knows that they’re tears of joy.
The main conflict was David being abused by his mother at home. This type of conflict is character vs. character. The main conflict doesn’t seem to be resolved in this book because at the end David just wishes that he would much rather not be alive than to go into the station wagon back home. Other conflicts throughout the story would be between character vs. self. For example, when David wanted to escape from his home, he didn’t know whether it would have been a good choice. Another conflict would be character vs. society, David had to deal with the other kids in school and pretty much the society judging him based on his looks.
The narrator of the novel is the author. The author’s name is Dave Pelzer. The type of point of view this novel is first person singular. The book is first person singular because the narrator uses I. In the Lit terms paper it also says about what kinds of point view there is.
The setting of the novel is Daly City, California. It had taken place mainly in the summer of the 1970s. The setting affects the novel because it happens from the end of the school year all through the summer, which causes us to know more about what he had to put up with everyday.
The theme of this novel is to make child abuse aware. There are many kids that suffer from it and that we should report it if we know of someone who is abusing their child or any child or if they are the ones being abused. Another theme could be to not take things for granted and cherish them. For example, when David’s mother only lets David be with the family on special occasions. Sometimes people don’t usually spend as much time with their family when there are other people in the world that wish they could.
Overall the book as really good, there were many bad points in the novel. Whenever David’s mom snatches a bar of soap down his throat, or punches him, stabs him, kicks him, smacks him, or yells at him are bad points. But good points in the novel are when she takes care for him after the stabbing accident, or back when he was smaller and she was different. She would care for him and make all this fancy stuff for dinner. The book being in first person and being told from a true survivor makes the novel even better. Even though it is sad that it happened to that person, it’s good to be aware to prevent or stop it from happening to others and make a difference. The novel is really touching and makes you feel like you can make a difference. Whenever you first start reading the book, you really get into it and cannot put it down.
*** Literary terms in A Child Called “It” are similes, flashback, author’s tone, hyperbole, and imagery. Examples of similes are “Like lightning I picked up the fork” (106) and “I gave her a frightened look as if I am truly afraid” (5). Flashback goes throughout the whole novel starting from page 17 until 153. An example of hyperbole is when David says, “my stomach s so full I thought it would burst” (105). Imagery in the novel is when David talks about the “soft, colorful glow of the Christmas lights that blinked on and off” (22). The author’s tone was determination because he wanted to escape from his mother’s abuse.