A Child Called It | Study Guide

Dave Pelzer

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Course Hero. "A Child Called It Study Guide." Course Hero. 7 Feb. 2019. Web. 13 Aug. 2022. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/>.

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Course Hero. (2019, February 7). A Child Called It Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 13, 2022, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/

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(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "A Child Called It Study Guide." February 7, 2019. Accessed August 13, 2022. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/.


Course Hero, "A Child Called It Study Guide," February 7, 2019, accessed August 13, 2022, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/.

A Child Called It | Symbols



In the Epilogue Dave watches a piece of driftwood tossed about by the current. He views this as a metaphor for his childhood. He was tossed about by forces over which he was powerless. Then, like the driftwood, he was able to break free from those forces. The wood, pitted and worn smooth, mirrors the scars Dave bears. His wounds, both physical and emotional, contribute to the person he is today—unique and stronger for what he has experienced.


School symbolizes safety for Dave. He views school as his refuge. However, as the abuse continues, his place of refuge no longer proves secure. He is bullied and dehumanized at school and repeatedly let down by the adults who should have been protecting him. He must survive not by seeking safety outside of himself, but by turning inward for strength.

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