A child called it

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uppladdat: 2004-05-21
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This book is the first part of the triology about Dave. A Child Called It takes place when Dave is between 4 and 12 years old.
Since Dave was four years old, he has been brutally beaten and starved by his mother. She was an alcoholic and emotionally unstable person. But you never find out why she so suddently became the monster she became. Dave didn’t write her name out, and he calls her She or Mother in the hole book. The reason is because the story is a true telling and the writer is Dave himslef.
When Dave was a little child, he lived happy in his family with many brothers. They went to family vacations, and his mother read storys for him and his brothers. Dave was the oldest brother of them. When Dave was four years old, his mother had stopped working to be home with the children. She started to beat and starve Dave. Dave couldn’t sleep inside the house anymore, because he wasn´t a member of the family, he was a slave.
She loved to try new punishment on Dave. He couldn´t eat if he wasnt finished with the dish a unpossible times She hade set up. One time She pulled him so hard that his arm was out of joint . That night Dave got to sleep inside the house, in the top bunk bed as well. She woke him up at the night and took him to the hospital. - Say that you felt out of the bed she said to him. And Dave realized he was fooled. Fooled for the first time, but not the last.
When Dave had to go to school, he was so happy. It was the best thing that could happen. The other children picked on him, but it was nothing compared to the pain Dave was suffering at home. She stopped doing lunch-packets to Dave when she found out that Dave enjoyed school, and she did everything to make life a hell for Dave. The school nurse was the first to notice that Dave had really serious problems at home. He was many times forced to go visting her, because of his smell and dirty clothes. She and the other teatchers at Thomas Edison Elementary School became Daves rescue. They put their careers on the line to save Dave on the most important day in Daves life, 5 March 1973.

The most important peoples in the book:

Dave is the main character in this book. He is a very tiny little boy, who hardly is noticed. His skin is pale, and you can see his bones throught it. He is very underfed and has bruceis all over his body. He only had one pair of clothes and he never took a bath so he smelled very badly. The other children love to tell him that. Time is very hard in school, but it is nothing compared to how it is at home. In school it seems like he is shy, and maybe pretty coward too. But that´s just the oppsite of what is really is. He is a very brave little child. He stood up infront of his mother when she was beaten him for 8 years. He fighted against his hunger and pain every day, and if he got to lick the dogs bowl he could be happy for a coupless of days.
Dave never thought of giving up and make suicid, and that made him to a real fighter. What kept him in live was the thought of how his mother have been, when they were at vacations when he was little. He always hopes that the day when she says that everything would be like old-times should come. But it never comes, Dave get rescued from her instead.

Daves mother She once was beautiful, but nowadays she is always hangover and non make uped. She is an alcoholic and emotionally unstable person. She is a sadist and loves to beat and make other humiliating punishment to Dave. She forces Dave to do worse and worse stuffs all the time. One of the worst punishments, that she loves the most, is when she fills the bathroom with strong smelling cleaning detergents, and then lockes Dave inside and he have to sit in there for hours. She is a very strong woman and nobody dares to set themselves up to her until the rescue of Dave. She blames Dave of everything. It doesn´t matter if he had been good or bad at school, she beats him anyway. She think her biggest misstake was to get Dave, and her greatest wish is to see Dave dead.

The environment:

The book takes place in Daly City, California in late 60s and early 70s. The most part of the story is from the the inside of the house. It is a medium size house, in a childfriendly territory. The house have many rooms, but only three rooms are described, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the garage.
The kitchen is pretty small, and you have the sinks on the right side when you come in. There is a table where the whole family (exept from Dave) sits and eat their dinner. Under the sink are the dogs bowls. There is one window, out of witch you can look out at the small garden.
The bathroom is very tiny and has only a toilet, a washbasin and bathtub. All is in white and the bathroom is vey simple. There is also a large medicin cupboard, for Hers pills against headache. There is also a ventilator on the bottom of one of the walls, where Dave gets fresh air from when She forced him to sit in the gases of the cleaning detergents.
The last room in the house, the garage, it is pretty big. There is only a army cot and a washbasin. The army cot was Dave´s bed. The walls are grey and cold. There is also a stair down to the garage in the middle of the room. The army cot is in one coin and the washbasin is in the other.
Sometimes Dave is in school, but it isn´t described how it looked there. It is left to the imagination.

The atmoshere in the story:

The atmoshere is very dark, and you can really feel the anger in both Dave and his mother. It is very much anger and fear in the book. And of course a lot of courage from Dave. Here are three examples of Dave´s feelings.

1. Dave has an enormous fighting spirit. He never wants to give up, and you find out that early in the book. This is the end of the third chapter, when she pulled his arm out of joint, and she had fooled him for the first time.

Standing alone in that damp, dark garage, I knew for the first time, that I could survive. I decided that I would use any tactic I could think of to defeat Mother or to delay her from grisley obsession. I knew if I wanted to live, I would have to think ahead. I could no longer cry like a helpless baby. In order to survive, I could never give in to her. That day I vowed myself that I would never, ever give that bitch the satisfaction of hearing me beg her to stop beating me.
Page 43

2. The fear when Dave´s father is walking away from the house and leaves him alone with his mother.This whole thing ends with She pulling Dave´s arm out of joint.

One day before he left the work, I received a dreadful shock. After he said goodbye to Ron and Stan, he knelt down, he held my shoulders tightly and told me to be a good boy. Mother stood behind him with her arms folded across her chest, and a grim smile on her face. I looked into my fathers eyes and knew right then that I was a bad boy. An ice-cold chill rushed trhougt my body. I wanted to hold on to him and never let go, but before I could give Father a hug, he stood up, turned and walked out of the door, without saying another word.
Page 33

Ron and Stan are DavesÆ brothers. They went to school short after Father has left, so Dave was totally alone with Her.

2. Dave has a lots of courage. Being just a small boy, of the age 10, he stands up infront of his mother when she comes up to him with a craving knife, and threat to kill him.

Something looked wrong. Very wrong! I strained to focus my eyes on Mother. She had begun to wave the knife in her right hand. Again, I was not overly frightened. She had done this before too. Eyes, I told myself. Look at her eyes. I did, and they seemed normal for her half-glazed over. But my instincts told me there was something wrong. I didn´t think she was going to hit me, but my body began to tense anyway. As I became more tense, I saw what was wrong. Partly because of Russel´s rocking motion, and partly because of the motion of her arm and hand with the knife, Mother´s whole body began to veave back and forth. For a moment I thought she was going to fall.ö
Page 86

Short after, his mother drops the knife, and it hits Dave right into his stomage. Dave wasn´t ever afraid of his mother when she threathed him with a knife. He was never afraid.

The theame in the book:

There is only one theme in this book, child maltreatment. You have learnt that child maltreatment is hard to notice, and that we live in a hard world. I thought the personal at the school noticed it many years earlier than when they rescued Dave. Y...

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  • Inactive member 2004-07-27

    thank you for your story it is


Inactive member [2004-05-21]   A child called it
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=2939 [2021-06-14]

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