Stitches: A Memoir Summary & Study Guide

David Small
This Study Guide consists of approximately 17 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Stitches.
This section contains 570 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Stitches: A Memoir Summary & Study Guide Description

Stitches: A Memoir Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Stitches: A Memoir by David Small.

"Stitches" by David Small is a graphic novel depicting a remembrance of a young boy who grew up in a dysfunctional world. This memoir shows how he observed his world and dealt with illness he didn't understand. It also shows how he broke free from the bondages of that world.

David grew up in Detroit. His mother was very quiet, yet prone to crying bouts and fits of anger. His father, a radiologist, worked at the hospital, and his brother Ted played the drums. David was a sick child, and his father constantly gave him medicines, shots and x-rays to try to help him get better.

When things were hard to deal with around the house, David would escape into his imagination. He pretended he was with Alice in Wonderland, and he drew happy characters to escape the anger around him.

In the spring Mama would take David to visit her parents in Indiana. His step-grandfather showed him places, but his grandmother was harsh. When she punished him, he felt he deserved it. Still, he thought she was a bit crazy. David's mother told him to never say that again.

Back at home in Detroit, David's mother sometime had the Women's Auxiliary Bridge Club over. During those evenings, she was transformed and everyone had a great time. David loved seeing Mrs. Dillon. He had a crush on her. As she was leaving she noticed something on his neck. Later, his dad asked a fellow doctor to look at it. They discovered a growth that should be removed, but Mama was concerned about money so surgery was put off. She had money for a new car and for home decorations, but surgery for her 11-year-old son was put off.

David was 14 years old by the time he had his surgery. He felt very comfortable in the hospital, even after they told him that the first surgery wasn't enough. He would have to have another surgery. His parents were acting somewhat strange. His dad tried to talk as if they were good friends, and his mother came to visit him and offered him anything he wished within reason. The next day, he went into surgery. When he woke up, he hardly had any voice. They had to take out one of his vocal cords and his thyroid.

He knew that his world would be changed forever without his voice, but back at home everything was the same. Two weeks after the operation, David decided to change the bandage on his neck on his own. He saw all the stitches and went to find his mother for some comfort. She criticized him for putting pressure on his neck. He went away, and later he had a nightmare. After the nightmare he was walking to the house when he saw a letter his mother had been writing to her mother. In it, he discovered that is growth had been cancerous.

Instead of nurturing him, his parents continued criticizing him and blaming him for wasting the money they had to put into his life. He began rebelling and was kicked out of school with a recommendation for psychiatric help. The psychiatrist was a great help to him, and he began putting his life back together even as his family life fell apart. David became an artist, and he broke through the walls of craziness that surrounded him in his home life.

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This section contains 570 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stitches: A Memoir Study Guide
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