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    tory are not born with theirtalents or contributions. They, as everyone does, need a person to give them the optionand the encouragement to achieve their fate. In The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart portraysthe life of Merlin, the main character, as he grows into a reputable individual of the time. Merlin begins his childhood as a boy who not many care for.

    Through the help of someimportant people, such as Tremorinus, Galapas, and Ambrosius, Merlin develops into aintellectual and knowledgeable individual. Sometimes all it takes to advance in knowledge is a little space. Merlin is alreadya knowledgeable man when he meets Tremorinus, a master engineer, who openlywelcomes Merlin into his workshop. Merlin remarks on how Tremorinus, allows meto learn all I can from him, gives me space in the workshops and material toexperiment with. (181).

    Merlin is able to learn a myriad of information while inTremorinus’ presence. This space that Tremorinus gives Merlin is the right tool to entitleMerlin to advance intellectually. Some mentors provide the space for knowledge to grow, but others are moreeffective because they set the foundation for the knowledge to develop. The personagewho is the most efficacious and who bestows the true idea of knowledge on Merlin isGalapas.

    One day Merlin travels through the forest and stumbles on what looks like aninhabited cave. In the cave Merlin meets Galapas for the first time. Galapas teachesMerlin an innumerable amount of information, but he, “hardly thought of his time withhim as lessons. ” (54). The information that Merlin receives is more useful than thesubjects of languages and geometry that he learns from Demetrius, his first tutor.

    Merlinlearns how to; collect herbs for medicine, study dead animals to learn of their organs,stop bleeding, set broken bones, and cleanse a wound to stop infection. Merlin loves hisvisits with Galapas. Merlin states, Whenever I could, once and sometimes twice in theweek, I rode up the valley to the cave. (53). The spark of interest, to obtainknowledge, that Galapas creates develops Merlin into the knowledgeable individual he isknown to be. Many people contribute to the intellectual development of an individual,but others provide the rare opportunities to procure this wisdom.

    Ambrosius providesMerlin the chance to obtain much knowledge from his teachers and from his ownexperiences. Ambrosius arranges for Belasius, a proficient mathematician andastronomer, to tutor Merlin. Belasius challenges Merlin by giving him difficult problemsto solve. Merlin comments on how he, “walked through the problems he set me as if thefield of knowledge were an open meadow with a pathway leading plain across it for all tosee. ” (135). Merlin excels at the effective challenges Belasius presents him.

    Thesechallenges are an effective way for Merlin to learn difficult subjects. Belasius alsoinadvertently introduces Merlin into other aspects of different and secret cultures. Oneday Merlin stumbles onto Belasius and others performing a sacrifice for their secret andillegal religion. Merlin should be punished because he observes this ritual, butAmbrosius allows him to do as he chooses so Merlin can find his one true God. Ambrosius also allows Merlin the personal freedom to adventure on his own to achieveknowledge through his own experiences. Merlin has permission to walk around the townand speak to and learn from whoever he likes.

    One idea he is curious about is how the”standing stones,” (182), were lifted into place. Merlin discovers the answer from a blindman who sings songs to the public. Merlin learns information from the songs of the blindman on a variety of subjects including, “. . . the men of old who had raised the standingstones.

    ” (184). Sometimes the access to knowledge and the gift of personal freedom areall it takes to develop ones true character and Merlin’s true character is of an intelligenthuman being. Merlin is a remarkable individual who survives the steep climb on the journey oflife. He is able to endure this quest because of the influence of particular people. Theirinfluence help Merlin become a knowledgeable individual who has an everlastingposition in the Arthurian Legend. Merlin has talents and unique characteristics whicheveryone can look upon with respect and admiration.


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