Critique Essay- Child Called It

Topics: Fiction, Novel, Short story Pages: 3 (855 words) Published: April 24, 2013
“A Child Called It” is a heart wrenching, page turner, must read, novel. Child abuse is such an important issue that needs to be spoken about, and that is just what this author did. The author of this novel, Dave Pelzer describes his own cruel life that he was subjected to from such an early age. It becomes obvious, very quick into the reading, that the author certainly went through great trauma. The visual imagery Pelzer shares, such as being forced to eat his own vomit, swallow soap, surviving in a “gas chamber,” as well having his baby brothers dirty diaper smudged in his face, makes it known that his abusive life, unfortunately really did happen.

It is important to point out that there are no adjectives that can truly describe and grasp the horrible things that Pelzer was put through. However, Pelzer does not just write about all of his horrific years, he also devotes a chapter to the good years of his life. He was so young, only four years old, when the good years turned into fearful, traumatizing years. During the first few years of his life, his mother provided him with love and affection. He felt warm and safe around his mother. When his mother changed and put Pelzer through a great deal of harm, he eventually considered it a game that he absolutely needed to win in order to survive.

His mother played sick games with him and he knew an important aspect to survival was stalling his mother. Pelzer said he “won” one of his mother’s games when he was able to stall enough time when she burnt him above the burning stove. He was smart enough to know that he needed to buy just enough time for his brothers to walk in because he knew his mother wouldn’t do that with his brothers home. Pelzer said “I was the king” when he managed to create a successful plan, steal food, and eat frozen dinners from the garage freezer as his reward. This powerful statement, “I was the king,” goes to show just how neglected and abused this poor child was.

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