Juvenile Justice: A Child Called “It” book
Juvenile Justice: A Child Called “It” book
A Child Called ‘It’ narrates a true story about child who faced child abuse during his younger age. Dave Pelzer, the victim of the child abuse lived with his mother’s rage that was full of torture and starvation from the age of four until the age of twelve when courageous school officials rescued him. Despite all the humiliation, torture, and cruelty subjected to him, Dave shows great qualities that made him cope up with his mother’s rage. They include:
Dave remains Silent
Muteness is considered as a sign of disempowerment. In the book, David Pelzer’s protagonist always remains silent in spite of the horrible torture inflicted on him and the unmet suffering he faces. He does not speak out or share with anybody at all. He keeps everything to himself. This is evident when he says his mother whipped him with a dog’s chain. He says, “It was very painful, but I just gritted my teeth and took it” (Pelzer, 1995. p 69). Another instance is whereby her mother subjects his hand on a burning flame; he runs way to the garage. His entire body was trembled from both the cold anger and intense fear. He uses his tongue to lick the burn indoor to soothe his throbbing arm. He says, “I wanted to scream but I refused to give Mother the pleasure of hearing me cry. I stood tall” (Pelzer, 1995. p 29). This shows that he chose to remain silent throughout the novel in spite of the torture subjected to him.
Having Strong faith
Throughout the novel, David remains a hopeful boy. He has great hope being god and then his father. In the novel, Dave is seen to have strong faith in what he believes in spite of his current circumstances with his mother. His strong faith makes him have strong hope that one day the suffering will end. He prays to God every day. His hope to God is comprehensible in the whole novel. Dave prays to God page after page in the novel. There is an instance in the novel that he becomes a religious person. He says, “I was on my own, and every night I prayed to God that I could be strong both in body and soul. My imaginations worked for a while “(Pelzer, 1995. p 42).Dave shows strong faith that helps him cope with her mother’s torture.
As more humiliations and torture continues to be subjected to Dave every day throughout the novel, he chooses to remain courageous knowing that one day he will get a rescue. Despite all the untold suffering he faces, Dave remains courageous. It took him great courage to remain at home in spite of all he was going through. Due to his courage, officials from his elementary school rescued him. His ordeal made him thought as a superman as he narrates.”…I felt proud of myself. I imagined myself like a character in a comic book, who overcame great odds and survive. Soon my head slumped forward and I fell asleep. In my dream, I flew through the air in vivid colors. I wore a cape of red… I was superman” (Pelzer, 1995. p 59).
He remained loyal and had strong resilience.
Dave Pelzer embodies spirit. He had a strong spirit, humor, and wit. As a child, his resilience enabled him to overcome extreme life-threatening obstacles. He recounts the strategies he used to survive the games his mother devised that reduced him from a human being to an “it”. Dave is seen as a living testament of a self-made man, who as an optimist exudes resilience, service to humankind, personal responsibility, and faith in humanity. He remains loyal to his mother throughout the novel. This was one of the strategies that helped him cope up with his mother’s rage. He could not wish to go against his mother’s instruction. Through his strong resilience, Dave somehow survives, frees himself from his mother’s tyranny, and eventually finds success in the Air force.
Reasons why Dave did not fight back.
Since childhood, Dave has learned to be submissive to his parents. He used to be given poor quality food yet he remained submissive to his mother. His mother comes with a small bowl, orders him to scoop the partially digested food out of the toilet and put it in the bowl. He recalls all these ordeals but remained submissive. He could do everything as instructed by his mother.
Dave was too young to fight back. He started to meet his mother’s rage when he was at the age of four. At this age, he did not have the strength to fight back his mother. He was too young to disobey his parents and his mind had moved from reality to imagination. He notes,” I imagined myself marching upstairs with my prize and mom greeting me with hugs and kisses. My fantasy included the family living happily ever after” (Pelzer, 1995. p23). This shows that he knew that his mother and the entire family would change some days to come.
Pelzer, D. (1995). A child called “it” : One child’s courage to survive. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communication.