More than 840,000,000 people suffer from hunger. That's about three times the population of the USA. This is chronic, persistent hunger, which kills 24,000 people every day, or over 8 million each year. The books and films we have come across this semester share a prevalent theme of hunger. Not only is the conventional hunger for food presented in these works, but also hunger to escape from the pain of reality, hunger for love and care, and hunger to be accepted and have a sense of belonging. In Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It, Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, James McBride's Color of Water and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, these four men seem to perfectly portray hunger on several different levels. I know that in my own life, I've gone through periods of abstract hunger that have pushed me to achieve great things. In the works we've studied, the dimensions of hunger drive the characters to go beyond their own personal limits and accomplish what they never thought possible. .
People suffer in today's society, and some suffer more than others - not just the momentary misery many people experience, the unhappiness that quickly comes and goes - but the constant torment some feel day in and day out, the personal hell in which they find themselves trapped. It all boils down to Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest' and how only the strong survive. Thinking back to Buck in Jack London's Call of the Wild and his absolute determination to survive and be the leader of the wolf pack, one comes to understand that a human being as well as an animal will do anything to go on, to endure - it is a natural instinct. Some people escape from what's holding them back in order to win. In Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It, Dave suffers from a childhood of complete despair and endless child-abuse. From being starved for ten consecutive days and stabbed in the stomach, to being forced to eat the feces from his baby brother's diaper and spoonfuls of ammonia, all beneath the wrath of his mother, Dave is left feeling hopeless.