Friday, December 3, 2010

A Man Named Dave



A Man Named Dave, by Dave Pelzer, is a conclusion to the novels A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy. The novel starts off with a flashback to David's childhood. One of Dave's encounters with his mother is expressed by "a jolting thud strikes the side of my neck. My knees buckle as I turn inside the doorway..." (Pelzer 8). It reviews how he was beaten by his mother and how other children treated him. The novel then proceeds to talk about his life with his foster family. When he was in foster care, he worked because he knew he would need money later in his life. He was different than most kids who played on the playground and had friends. Then, David turns eighteen and wants to start his own life. He ends up quitting high school, but he obtains his GED by himself and enlisting into the Air Force. While in boot camp, David has many nightmares about his mothers abuse, which makes him stay up all night to prevent him from waking up in a screaming fit. His dream is to become a firefighter just like his father. "The only thing that mattered was Father's badge," states Dave (Pelzer 66). The main thing he cherished and looked up to his father for was him being a firefighter. David did not have the skills and education to become a firefighter; therefore, he went to college. Once college was completed for him, his papers became lost and he was not able to obtain his dream. Soon after, David finds out that his father has become ill with cancer and is going to pass away soon. He goes home to see his father before he passes. Dave's real mother acts like she is devastated by Dave's father's illness; however, she will not visit him. Since Dave's father is no longer alive, he does not have a reason to earn his money. He wanted to earn money, so he could buy his father a house since he was homeless. Finally, he feels like he has something to live for when he enters a team of cooks within the Air Force. When he returns to the Air Force, he meets a woman who becomes his wife. David ends up asking her to marry him once he finds out she is pregnant. No one really supports their marriage. Since David's job was very time consuming, he had little time to spend with his wife and children. This caused tension between them two and lead to their divorce. Both his wife and Dave found new people to live their lives with and Dave was able to still see his child at any free time he had. Dave always had a fear that he would turn into an abusive father, like his mother was and he did not like that thought. Throughout the novel, Dave goes back home many time to visit his abusive mother and his grandmother, which both give him an uneasy feeling. All of the actions that occurred in Dave's life added up and taught him to leave his past behind him and to trust and love others in the present. The novel teaches that forgiveness is key, because if people do not forgive, then their other relationships may be affected. David had a hard time forgiving his mother, which lead to distrust in his marriage which led to their divorce too.

1)David had a hard time moving on with his life, because he still had not forgave his mother. His distrust in his mother, led to him having distrust in others too. Until he forgave his mother, he had altered the way he treated his wife due to his emotions still rattled by his mothers actions. Do you think that peoples past affect their future greatly? Why is it hard for many people to let go of their past?

2)David’s father was a role model to him and when David saw his father struggling, he wanted to do everything to help him. Do you have someone in your life who you would give up anything for? If so, who and why?

14 comments:

Hannah L 13-14 said...

1. I think that anyone's past will always affect their future, but as to how much, I don't really think there is an answer. for myself, I know there are many things in my past which I regret and it's hard for me to forget. They're constantly there as a reminder and you can't just make yourself forget so I think it's hard for people to let go because they can't forgive themselves for what has happened and they can't even begin to forget.

KatherineS13-14 said...

1) I absolutely believe that people's past affect their future greatly. Everything in the past makes a person who they are today. The past molds who a person is and why they are the way that they are. Many things have happened in my life that have changed the way I see things and how I act. As to the second part of the question, people do things that they wish to change, and they then cannot let go of the past. I have done this a few times, and it took me a long time to let go of the past. Once people realize that the past is the past and it is impossible to change, that is when letting go becomes possible.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

Peoples' past will always effect their future. To what degree they will be affected is determined by the person though. People react differently to both hardship and periods of joy and it really is different for each individual. It is so hard for people to disregard their past and earlier events. These events are already engrained in their minds and soul causing people to have very different outlooks based off those experiences. Preconceived notions are very, very, hard to get rid of.

Cassie M 11-12 said...

1. I think that the past affects everyone different. Some people can shake off past mistakes and keep going, while others dwell on them and feel guilty for the rest of their lives. For me, the past affects the future to some extent, but it doesn't decide it. I believe that experiences don't account for all of a person's qualities. It is how the person chooses(or doesn't choose) to handle these experiences that affects the main part of who they are. Some people have a harder time forgetting the past than others because they do not like change. They will cling to even the worst personality traits they have for fear of changing them.

Erika B 13-14 said...

Along with everyone else above me, I believe that your past has a great influence on how a person behaves in the future. Though we all live in the moment, your past is always still saved in your memory, and many things that happen in your life are capable of triggering those good or bad thoughts. For example, when people have experienced friends telling their secrets, they become affected by that and sometimes will have trust issues with new people they meet in the future. As much as you may want to forget, your past will always be with you.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

I agree with everyone. Your past does effect your present and your future. It effects everyone in different degrees. For me it is hard to let go of the past, because you cannot just whipe out your memory. Bad expiriences will cause bad thoughts or actions in your life, while good expiriences will allow you to live a happy life. Many people have both good in bad in their lives which both will affect their future in different ways. Many people blame their past expiriences on what they do in their present and future life. I believe your past should not be an excuse for your actions. You have control over your actions and if you do something good or bad, it was your choice, not the people in your pasts choice.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

1. I think the past will always affect a person's future no matter what. People will always go back and look on their early days of life and see how it has affected them now. I think it's hard to let go of your past, depending on what the situations were, but eventually you begin to forget, and move on. It takes time though.

Kaitlyn S. 13-14 said...

1. I think that people are always affected by their pasts. Previous events is what forms our perception of things to come. If someone had, let's say, a bad experience eating Mexican food, then they would most likely stay away from it from past experience. Everything we do has some connection with what we have already done or something similar to. What makes it hard for people to let go of their past is because that a part of their past will always be with them because it forms who they are. Some events that we have gone through just can't be erased and it's hard to forgive someone when you constantly remember what they did to you. Being able to forgive someone for a wrong they did to you takes a lot of strength.

2. Depends on what it means to give up everything. If you mean give up your own life, I would have great reluctance. I feel like a selfish person for saying that but I'm deathly afraid of dying (pardon the pun). That would be like asking someone afraid of heights to tightrope walk between two buildings. Now if you mean give up as in possessions and money, I absolutely would. I would do that for my sister, a close friend and my mom. They all mean a lot to me and any money or objects wouldn't mean anything if they were in trouble and I was able to help and I didn't.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

I agree that your past does contribute to your futre. I feel that bad things affect your future more than good things do. Most people tend to remember the bad things that happen in their lives rather than the good. The past to me does form a person somewhat, but I feel that a persons actions earlier in life do not completely affect their actions in the present. I feel like people have the right to change their actions and become a better person than they were in the past. I agree to that any possesion or money is less important than any person could ever be to me. Any of the people in my life whether friends or family are worth everything to me. It would be hard for me to give my life up for someone, but if i truely cared about them a ton I feel like I would do anything to save their life even if it had a risk of me dying. I know it sounds a bit out of the norm, but I really do feel that way.

Dana D 11-12 said...

2. I would give up anything to help my parents. They've given up so much throughout their lives for me that it would only be fair to return the favor. My parents mean everything to me. They've taken care of my for the past 18 years and now I would do anything in my power to take care of them.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

I agree Dana. Mostly everyone's parents do their best to help out their children as much as they can. My parents have done that. My mother is my bestfriend and I have no clue what I would do without her. I would do anything in my power to keep anything bad from happening to her. It is only right to give back to the ones that have helped you throughout your life.

Megan L.11-12 said...

Well as cliche as it sounds, the past makes the future, therefore one can't really understand and function in the future unless he or she knows and understand his or her past. The future is altered by the past, evident by how everybody is different in their own ideas and philosophies, we all have had different pasts, therefore we all have different presents, and will have different futures.

CorinneS5/6 said...

I think that people's past eefect their future because their pasts are the only thing they have to base opinions on. If you were beat as a child as Dave was, your will naturally have problems trusting others because his trust was abused at such a young ans influencial age. It is also natural that he wants to help his father, because he is his only family he ever loved and who ever gave him anything. If someone gives you all you have in your life such as a lone parent, you would want to return the favor by doing everything in your power to help them out when they are in need.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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