Because Pelzer chooses to begin the memoir with the end of his abuse, when he is taken away from his mother, readers know throughout the entire book that Dave's suffering will eventually end. This is an example of dramatic irony because while we know the abuse will end, young Dave does not: he goes through his abuse unsure whether he will ever find a way out.
Mother's Sudden Kindness (Dramatic Irony)
In Chapter 6, Dave's mother suddenly starts to be nice to him, showing him love and kindness the way she hadn't since he was very young. This is ironic because Dave thinks that she truly has come around, whereas she is really only acting this way for her own gain, so that the social worker who comes to their house will not accuse her of any wrongdoing.
Dave's Parents (Situational Irony)
Parents are meant to be supportive and loving in all circumstances; it is ironic, then, that both of Dave's parents are exactly the opposite. It is not only his mother who fails in her role as a parent but also his father, who lacks the courage necessary to stand up for his son.
Dave's Home (Situational Irony)
In most stories, home is portrayed as a place of safety. In Dave's case, it is the exact opposite: home is a place to fear and dread, a place where Dave never knows what horror will happen to him next. It is ironic that the role of the home has completely reversed for Dave, becoming a place to avoid rather than a place of comfort.
A Child Called “It” Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for A Child Called “It” is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.