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?