Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel (Literary Analysis)

This novel started off very jarring and powerful. Through very graphic diction and descriptive imagery, the author illustrates and articulates each scene with the upmost detail. It is transparent that severe abusage of drugs amongst other factors that are very important roles that play into this story. I feel that this story can in a way be correlated to the amount of drug abuse and parental misguidance in our current society. While it might not be as severe as the one illustrated in this novel, it is a sensitive subject that needs to have some recognition.

The father in the story is psychotic, abusive drunk who forces his daughter to commit murder several times to get what he wants. ““You BITCH!” He had me by the head and he was screaming, YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY? YOU FUCKING STUPID BITCH.” He punched me very hard then and my teeth hit the dash knobs and broke a short upside-down “V” into my front teeth. I tried to get out of the car but he had my arm and he yank-twisted me back.” This leads to further major mental health issues for Roberta, the daughter; drug abuse and self-harm.

Roberta, only being 11, smokes, does designer drugs, and attempts to self-harm numerous times. “All three of held in and exhaled our clouds. The Turtle called it the Ancient Substance; something I’d been hearing about in Health, something featured in the film our 1,000-year old teacher Mrs. Fields showed us called What are Drugs? When I started laughing, Vicky said, “What? What?”” This not only shows a lack of parental guidance but also the shock-value that someone that young has already done so many things to herself.

As for self-harm goes, she has numerous people that, intentionally or not, have told her to kill herself, or that they would kill her. So coincidentally she has the notion of her dying always lingering in her mind; which partially, is the reason why she holds her life at little to no value and finds purpose by doing what others tell her to do. In the end, after she had killed off the people that she knew were poison to her, she then realized that she didn’t know what to do with herself at that point, so she concluded to end her life there.

Child and drug abuse is still prevalent in our society, and I feel that this book has touched light upon the sensitive matter by presenting a narrative that shows the life of a child in the roughest situations to really emphasize the terror that these children go through. If Roberta had a caring father, there would be no murder, no consumption of designer drugs and chain smoking.