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The book is an autobiography of David Pelzer. He writes about his struggle to stay alive in a home where he is treated like a slave and an animal. The book begins with the people at Dave’s school finally report Dave and his condition to the authorities. The whole book is a flashback, except for the very beginning, when a policeman is taking the boy away from his mother, to freedom. His mother was the “perfect” mother, when he was younger than four.
She taught them something new every day and took them on many fun family vacations. Then, singled out one of her children to be the family slave, but it didn’t stop there.
She also played cruel games, with the boy. Some of her favorites were the gas chamber, and the starvation tease. She played “games” with David; these games were sick and twisted. Although David had to learn how to cope and “play” these games in order to survive.
There were three main characters, Dave, (the boy,) his mom, and his dad. The writer makes me believe that these people are real by describing them in very fine detail. I like Dave, because he seems really kind to everybody that he knows how to be kind to. Also, he tries to be honest, and is almost always hopeful and wishful.
He is innocent, and smart. Here is a quote about him thinking about his relationship with his brothers: “After the boys had carved their pumpkins, I could hear mother, in her soothing voice, telling them a scary story.
The more I heard, the more I hated each and every one of them. It was bad enough waiting, like a dog, out in the backyard on the rocks while they enjoyed dinner, but having to lay in a cold bathtub, shivering to keep warm, while they ate popcorn and listened to mothers’ tale made me want to scream. ” As the book progresses so do the amount of abuse David receives from his mother.
David was fortunate enough to remain hopeful throughout his abuse and was eventually taken from the custody of his mother. When talking David speaks calm at some times and with extreme rage at other times. David’s mother is the only one who speaks slang in the book; this slang is usually the result of her being drunk. I don’t like Dave’s mother because she is the abuser. She is very cruel and frightens her whole family. Here is a quote about her relationship with Dave, (Dave’s mother is talking): “Well aren’t you special… get one thing straight you little [SOB]. There is nothing you can do to impress me! Do you understand me?
You are a nobody, and “It! ” You are nonexistent! You are a bastard child! I hate you and I wish you were dead! Dead! Do you hear me? Dead! ” I also don’t like Dave’s father because he won’t get the courage to help Dave. He is afraid that his wife will hurt him. He seems like he would be a very kind father, though, if he weren’t paired with Dave’s mother. The story of David’s childhood is very heartbreaking; he was brutally beaten and starved by his mother. David was forced to sleep in the basement on an old army cot. His mother made him wear the same clothes to bed and back to school the next day, as an effort to embarrass him.
The kids at school made fun of him and called him names like “Pelzer-Smellzer” and “David the Food Thief”, because David would be so hungry that he would steal things from the other kid’s lunches in order to get something to eat, because his mother would not feed him. If David got the luxury to eat he would only be allowed scraps of food, like his brother’s left over cereal, or things “even the dog refused to eat. ” While David was young, he loved his mother very much, as well as his father. He admired both of them greatly. He described his mother as “… a woman who glowed with love for her children.
” He described his father as his “hero” and uperman.When David was in his toddler years he was very loved by all of his family. Then David’s mother started to “punish” David instead of discipline. As David said in the book, “My relationship with Mom drastically changed from discipline to punishment 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. ” David’s mother would tell him that he was a “bad boy” and that he couldn’t play with his brothers and his punishment would be to sit in a corner of his room for hours. And this was only the beginning.
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