A Child Called It


Dave Pelzer

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Superman Symbol Icon

At a few points in the book, Dave Pelzer fantasizes about being Superman and flying away from his awful, abusive mother. Superman symbolizes Dave’s hope and optimism, which are critical in helping him survive his years of abuse. Superman could also symbolize Dave’s struggle to take control over his own life, instead of relying on cruel or indifferent people like his parents or his brothers.

Superman Quotes in A Child Called It

The A Child Called It quotes below all refer to the symbol of Superman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Child Abuse Theme Icon
Chapter 5 Quotes

I willed the wound to heal. Somehow I knew it would. I felt proud of myself. I imagined myself like a character in a comic book, who overcame great odds and survived. Soon my head slumped forward and I fell asleep. In my dream, I flew through the air in vivid colors. I wore a cape of red … I was Superman.

Related Characters: David Pelzer / Dave (speaker)
Related Symbols: Superman
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
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Superman Symbol Timeline in A Child Called It

The timeline below shows where the symbol Superman appears in A Child Called It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: The Accident
Resistance Theme Icon
...much as it has been. In his dream that night, Dave wears a red cape—he’s Superman. (full context)
Chapter 7: The Lord’s Prayer
Child Abuse Theme Icon
Psychological Trauma Theme Icon
...Mother beats him, but deep down, he hates Mother. He no longer dreams about being Superman, flying away from his misery. The words “hope” and “faith” have no meaning for him.... (full context)