58 pages 1 hour read

Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It: One Child’s Courage to Survive

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1995

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Chapter 7-Perspectives on Child Abuse

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary: “The Lord’s Prayer”

A month before entering fifth grade, Pelzer loses his faith in God. He rationalizes that no just God would allow the kind of abuse he endures. Pelzer remembers disassociating from the pain inflicted on him by his mother. He writes that he felt like a “robot, rarely revealing my emotions” (102). Dave becomes afflicted with an acute hatred for his mother, his father, his family, even children laughing as they play outside his door. He recalls praying to God so his mother would fall sick. One day, when he was five or six, his mother actually did fall ill after he prayed for her to do so. However, the illness was short-lived, and Catherine began abusing Dave again.

Dave also starts identifying his father as a traitor. He realizes that though his father attempts to protect him, Stephen also views Dave as a traitor. When Catherine and Stephen are fighting, Catherine often calls upon Dave to repeat things Stephen might have said in past arguments to bolster her side. Dave does so to avoid a beating, but this triangulation further estranges him from his father.

Dave’s relationship with his brothers becomes even more tense. That summer the brothers even take turns hitting Dave.