As a child Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother; a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games that left one of her sons nearly dead. She no longer considered him a son, but a slave; no longer a boy, but an ‘it’. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly, and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dogs’ bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors.
Dave dreamed of finding a family to love him and call him their son. It took years of struggle, deprivation and despair to find his dreams and make something of himself. A Child Called ‘It’ covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspiration memoir of one child’s determination to survive. In most of my classes I’ve always heard that your parents are the most important people in your life and I truly believe this. People are affected by everything their parents say and do both in childhood and later on in adulthood. If a child is constantly looked down upon and made to believe that nothing they do is good enough, chances are they will grow up believing this and having low confidence.
It is remarkable that a child David’s age fought himself from breaking down, dissolving into tears and giving up hope for a better future. David constantly worked towards or rather survived because of a dream, a dream t hat he was a prince and that everyone loved him. It was this strong belief and sense that he was not “bad” that allowed him to survive and escape his torturous existence. You may remember that in training we emphasize how many abused and neglected children remain so attached to their families that they want to live with them at any cost.
Parents play an important role in the fulfillment of their children’s dreams. Often, before a child can even start to dream, parents have already made a mental picture of what they want their children to be in the future. In Barack Obama’s (2004) “Dreams from My Father,” we see the important role a father plays in the success of the incumbent president. On the contrary, in Arthur Miller’s (1949) “ ...
This was not Dave Pelzer’s experience. He grew to hate his mother for singling him out for systematic torture. His anger helped him survive: ‘I wanted to show The Bitch that she could beat me only if I died, and I was determined not to give in, even to death.’ (91) After a visit from his mother at his foster home, David decides to take back all of the things he told Mrs. Gold about his mother. He lied and told her that all the stories about his mother beating him and mistreating him were untrue and that he really was a bad child.
As much as Mrs. Gold tried to reassure him David continued to lie and yell at Mrs. Gold. ‘David, you have to understand that in a person’s life there are a few precious moments in which decisions, choices that you make now, will effect you for the rest of your life’ (57).
This explains the ethical dilemma that David was put in. Although he wanted to free himself from the pain of his mother he also did not want to hurt his family.
He felt ashamed for letting everyone know ‘the family secret.” David shows extreme selflessness when making his decision to lie to his social worker. According to moral of the story, selflessness is defined as concern for the interests of others. Extreme selflessness is when a person is solely concerned for the interest of others while disregarding one’s own interest. David disregarded his own safety and well being because he was simply concerned with the pain that he could be inflicting on his family. He did not care that if he took back his statements that it could jeopardize his ability to stay in the safe foster home.
David also had a decision to make when it came to making his friends. David was dared to let the air out of his teacher’s tire by boys he wanted as friends. David had to make the decision whether or not to impress these new boys or decline and face reticule. At first David wanted to impress these boys in hopes to make gain acceptance. Once David realized what he was doing he stopped. ‘I let out a deep breath and knelt down, not believing what I was about to do.
David Copperfield The novel David Copperfield, written by Charles Dickens, deals with the life and times of David Copperfield. About a century ago in a small town in England, David was born on a Friday at the stroke of midnight, which is considered a sign of bad luck. David's father has already died and his aunt comes to stay with him and his mother as this novel gets off to a very slow start. ...
I could feel my heart race. I wanted to stand up and run away, but I just shook it off… No! I yelled at myself. This I totally wrong! On purpose I snapped the end of my pencil, stood up and walked past John, who dared me to finish the job’ (172-3).
David was faced with a moral dilemma should he impress his friends at the expense of an innocent teacher? The ethical approach that David used is known as Rule. The Silver Rule is defined as the idea that one should ‘not do to others what you would not like them to do to you’.
David’s decision to not flatten the teachers tire comes from his inner moral code rule the silver rule. He knew that he did not like being hurt and picked on so he did not what to do the same to his teacher.