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Old 04-13-2003, 06:18 PM   #1
Erniel
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The Silmarillion: Ch. 6: Of Fanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

A short resume:

All three kindreds of Elves are now gathered in Valinor and thriving. Fanor was born and after his birth his mother Mriel surrendered her body and went to Mandos halls. Finw remarried with Indis who gave birth to Fingolfin and Finarfin. When all three were about grown, Manw decided to turn Melkor loose. After his release Melkor turned his hatred to the Eldar since he held them responsible for his own downfall by the hands of the Valar. So he tricked them in believing him as a friend and counsellor. Of the three kindreds especially the Noldor learned much from him.


Incomplete list of other reads on this subject:

Book of Lost Tales I , The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kr
The Shaping of Middle-earth, The earliest Silmarillion, 4
The Shaping of Middle-earth, The earliest Annals of Valinor, Valian Years 2500 till 2950
Morgoths Ring, The Annals of Aman, Fourth Section, 1179 to 1410


Of Fanor

In this chapter we first come up on Fanor, one of the most influential and vital characters in Elvish history. Its an Elf who we readers either love or hate. But how did the Elves see him? He is seemingly remembered by them as foremost the maker of the Silmarils and only then as leader of the rebelling Noldor. Since the Silmarils and the unrest of the Noldor is discussed in the next chapter I wont touch them yet here. Yet already in this chapter we learn he is both skilled and learned.

Quote:
In his youth, bettering the work of Rmil, he devised those letters which bear his name, and which the Eldar used ever after; and he it was who, first of the Noldor, discovered how gems greater and brighter than those of the Earth might be made with skill.
One might think that his wayward character came from his unusual (at least for Elves) family situation. He grew up without his mother and with a father who adored him. He was soon presented with a stepmother. Fanor was ill-pleased with his fathers second marriage and he didnt really like the half-brothers he ended up with. Combined with his pride and stubbornness that spells out trouble. Though one may say in his defence that Fanor never liked Melkor nor took his counsel.


Of Finw

As far as my limited knowledge of Elves goes, they dont remarry. However they dont usually refuse to take up another body either like Mriel, Finws wife did. Poor Finw was in a sad situation. His wife refused to take up her body again after the birth of one son and Finw wanted more children (why I do wonder, I suspect Fanor was already more than a handful even as a child ).

According to the Silmarillion one might blame his remarriage with Indis for the troubles it would cause later on. But it also states that if he hadnt remarried, history would have been denied the sons he had with Indis and a much bleaker history it would have been: no Fingolfin, no Finrod Felagund (, ), no Gondolin, no Erendil, ect Personally Im not so sure if Finws to blame. His was a rather exceptional situation with Mriel.

I wonder whether Finw spoiled his son. He loved his son more than anything and Fanor grew up to be a rather stubborn son. If he had been a Man I certainly would have made a connection between the last two sentences. But since Fanor is an Elf, I hesitate. More so since Fanor was already a rather fiery person when he was born.

*to be continued*
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:22 PM   #2
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Of Nerdanel

Nerdanel was Fanors wife. He never asked anyone counsel or help, except her. Which is rather remarkable. She was perhaps the best match he could hope to make for she was also firm of will as was he. She was capable of restraining him when he overheated. She also had to handle 7 little Fanors. She most have had a darn strong mind to be able to do that.

Quote:
[] but his later deeds grieved her; and they became estranged.
It is a pity that they became estranged. But I also wonder which deeds made her turn away from him. Was it because he aimed his sword at Fingolfin? It cant be his leading the Noldor out of Valinor for then there would be no time for them to become estranged and there is no record (at least to my knowledge) that she left Valinor with him.


Of Melkor

Melkor still hadnt lost his touch after three ages in prison . He managed to fool both Valar and Elves. Quite a feat, even though Ulmo and Tulkas didnt buy much of his lies they did not stop him mainly because Manw certainly fell for it. And Nienna even supported his plea for pardon! Of all Valar she would be the one I the least expected to do so.

Quote:
She is acquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring of Melkor.


If any of the Valar at least Nienna should remember Melkors evils the longest. Yet she is the one to plead his case. Did she pity Melkor for his incarceration? Did her pity overcome her reasoning here? Or did she not want to see that evil still lurked in Melkor? If so that the other Valar doubtlessly did the same. Manw pardoned Melkor without looking deep into Melkors heart. Youd think that with someone who gave you so much trouble before, theyd be a little more careful to release him again. Its seems to be a running theme that whenever the Valar try to do good (in this case to be merciful) it backfires on them. In any case Melkor must have been one sweet tongued son of a female dog.

After his release Melkor aimed his hatred chiefly at the Eldar whom he deemed the reason for his downfall and because they were fair and happy. Things he didnt seem to be able to stand. A bit of a social case that Melkor, I think. Though I think that another reason may have been that he could get back at the Valar through the Elves. The Valar loved the Elves greatly, if Melkor could estrange the Elves from the Valar it would have been quite a blow to the latter. But thats just some personal after-thought.


There, I think I covered most things. Its interesting picking a chapter apart but it takes a long time. Started at 21.30 and ended at 23.50. But I made it. Pfiew! I couldnt really find many good discussion points to single out so I copied azaleas method a little. So there. Start arguing!

Im off to bed.
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Old 04-13-2003, 07:53 PM   #3
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Very thorough, Erniel.
Quote:
Originally posted by Erniel
Of Melkor
If any of the Valar at least Nienna should remember Melkors evils the longest. Yet she is the one to plead his case. Did she pity Melkor for his incarceration? Did her pity overcome her reasoning here? Or did she not want to see that evil still lurked in Melkor? If so that the other Valar doubtlessly did the same.
Nienna pitied Melkor simply because that was her nature. It is said of her:
Quote:
...those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope. Her hall are west of West, upon the bborders of the world; and she comes seldom to the city of Valimar where all is glad. She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near to her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom.
Perhaps your third theory is also true, that she had hope for Melkor and his redemption.
Quote:

Manw pardoned Melkor without looking deep into Melkors heart. Youd think that with someone who gave you so much trouble before, theyd be a little more careful to release him again. Its seems to be a running theme that whenever the Valar try to do good (in this case to be merciful) it backfires on them.
By our standards, Manw may have seemed gullible and shallow. However, I believe his seemingly foolish trust in Melkor was a result of his purity. Since he himself did not truly know evil, it was impossible for him to fully understand its nature.
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Old 04-14-2003, 12:49 PM   #4
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Good job, Earniel!
It's hard to respond to every point right now, but I'll do the first few:

How did the Elves see Feanor? Interesting question. I tend to see the storyteller's POV as pretty unbiased, but as far as his story as told in The Silm, I would say he'd be seen in a negative way, because of the personal strife he brought to so many. But I understand that in the other works, he is perhaps shown in a less negative light. So generally speaking I would say they viewed him maybe not as "good" or "bad," but simply as Powerful, a description which would encompass both the positive and negative. The elves as far as I can see would view power as an admirable trait, yet with the possiblility of being fell, and thus view it with caution.

At this point I tend to think that Feanor was destined to have personal problems, even if he hadn't had the broken family. I think he was born with such fire that he would eventually rebel no matter what, unless he was always given his way. But I suppose in the end it is a good thing that Finwe took another wife, because like you said, we would otherwise be without some very important elves, who end up balancing things out, as it were.

I'll respond more later.
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
In this chapter we first come up on Fanor, one of the most influential and vital characters in Elvish history. Its an Elf who we readers either love or hate. But how did the Elves see him? He is seemingly remembered by them as foremost the maker of the Silmarils and only then as leader of the rebelling Noldor. Since the Silmarils and the unrest of the Noldor is discussed in the next chapter I wont touch them yet here. Yet already in this chapter we learn he is both skilled and learned.
He's the elf. There is a world of difference between Fanor and your average elf. He was a genius. His inventions in language only makes him that. His craftmanship put him on a whole new level.
Fanor was the elf who knew most about the Valarin language of the Valar.
Quote:
One might think that his wayward character came from his unusual (at least for Elves) family situation. He grew up without his mother and with a father who adored him. He was soon presented with a stepmother.
Hmmm, in the Shibboleth of Fanor, it is said that Mriel lived with him until he became an adult, after that she relinquished her hra.
Quote:
As far as my limited knowledge of Elves goes, they dont remarry. However they dont usually refuse to take up another body either like Mriel, Finws wife did. Poor Finw was in a sad situation. His wife refused to take up her body again after the birth of one son and Finw wanted more children (why I do wonder, I suspect Fanor was already more than a handful even as a child ).
That was a failing of love of Finw. Failing from the highest standard there is, a failure of true love.
Quote:
Manw pardoned Melkor without looking deep into Melkors heart. Youd think that with someone who gave you so much trouble before, theyd be a little more careful to release him again. Its seems to be a running theme that whenever the Valar try to do good (in this case to be merciful) it backfires on them. In any case Melkor must have been one sweet tongued son of a female dog.
Manw is the noblest of the Ainur. It was not easy for Manw to see in Melkor's mind because Melkor had shut his mind. See Osanwe Kenta.
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As an adjective American is:
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2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
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Old 04-14-2003, 03:24 PM   #6
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Maedhros, where is Osanwe Kenta?

Yes, I bought PoME recently and noticed the change in when Mriel's death took place -
Quote:
From The Shibboleth of Fanor, PoME
While she lived she did much with gentle counsel to soften and restrain him....The cause of her weariness she believed to be the bearing of Fanor, great in mind and body beyond the measure of the Eldar. Her weariness she had endured until he was full grown, but she could endure it no longer.
For those who like names, like I do:
Quote:
From The Shibboleth of Fanor, PoME, footnote 2
The only child of Miriel was afterwards usually called Fanor. His first name was Finw (minya), afterwards enlarged when his talents developed to Kurufinw. His mother-name was in Quenya, as given by Mriel, Fanro 'spirit of fire'. Fanor is the form nearly always used in histories and legends, but is as it stands only half Sindarized: the genuine Sindarin form was Faenor; the form Fanor (the is only a device of transcription, not needed in the original) probably arose through scribal confusion, especially in documents written in Quenya, in which ea was frequent but ae did not normally occur.
Hard to think of the scribes making an error in the case of Fanor, tho...
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Last edited by Ran : 04-14-2003 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maedhros
Hmmm, in the Shibboleth of Fanor, it is said that Mriel lived with him until he became an adult, after that she relinquished her hra.
Is that so? Mmm.... interesting. I haven't read the Shibboleth yet soI drew the conclusion that Fanor grew up without his mother from this quote from the Silmarillion:

Quote:
At their parting (for a little while) as he thought) Finw was sad, for it seemed an unhappy chance that the mother should depart and miss the beginning at least of the childhood days of her son.
It seemed to me that she departed when Fanor was rather young.
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:11 PM   #8
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(Erniel, see the last sentence in the first quote of my previous post - that's where it says he was "full-grown' when she died - a definite change from the Sil)
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:38 PM   #9
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Yes, I know. I do read your posts, Ran. I was merely pointing out that I had used the Silmarillion as reference to make the opening post. Hence my saying that he grew up without his mother.
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:47 PM   #10
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I just thought you might have fallen asleep before you got to that part....(I can be rather wordy....)

That seems like rather a big change - your mother dying when you're a baby, or dying when you're full-grown.... and 50 years is a long time to endure weariness, too - a little more understandable for Mriel to give up after being weary for 50 years, than to give up right after Fanor's birth.
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Old 04-14-2003, 06:51 PM   #11
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Maedhros, where is Osanwe Kenta?
Rian, I believe that it is an essay that is part of Venyar Tengwar. Michael Martinez has an impressive piece on it at Suite 101, called:

The tip of the iceberg: new information about Middle-earth

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/tolkien/79363
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Old 04-14-2003, 06:56 PM   #12
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Thanks, SGH The link doesn't seem to work now, but I"ll try again later...

What's Venyar Tengwar?
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"How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! ... For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside." (from Psalm 84) * * * God rocks!

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Old 04-14-2003, 07:04 PM   #13
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From the Peoples of Middle earth: The Shibboleth of Fanor
Quote:
Note 7: [It had been said several times in the later Quenta Silmarillion texts that Fanro was a 'name of insight' given to him by Mriel at his birth; moreover in the story of Mriel when it first appeared her spirit passed to Mandos soon after Fanor was born, and it is expressly said in Laws and Customs among the Eldar that he never saw his mother (X.217). The story has now been altogether changed in this aspect: Mriel named him with this name 'in recognition of his impetuous character'; 'while she lived she did much with gentle counsel to soften and restrain him'; and subsequently 'her weariness she had endured until he was full grown, but she could endure it no longer'. After Mriel's 'death' or departure 'for a while he also had kept vigil by his mother's body, but soon he became wholly absorbed again in his own works and devices' (p. 335).]
sanwe-kenta is in Vinyar Tengwar # 39.
From sanwe-kenta
Quote:
If we speak last of the "folly" of Manw and the weakness and unwariness of the Valar, let us beware how we judge. In the histories, indeed, we may be amazed and grieved to read how (seemingly) Melkor deceived and cozened others, and how even Manw appears at times almost a simpleton compared with him: as if a kind but unwise father were treating a wayward child who would assuredly in time perceive the error of his ways. Whereas we, looking on and knowing the outcome, see now that Melkor knew well the error of his ways, but was fixed in them by hate and pride beyond return. He could read the mind of Manw, for the door was open; but his own mind was false and even if the door seemed open, there were doors of iron within closed for ever.
How otherwise would you have it? Should Manw and the Valar meet secrecy with subterfuge, treachery with falsehood, lies with more lies? If Melkor would usurp their rights, should they deny his? Can hate overcome hate? Nay, Manw was wiser; or being ever open to Eru he did His will, which is more than wisdom. He was ever open because he had nothing to conceal, no thought that it was harmful for any to know, if they could comprehend it. Indeed Melkor knew his will without questioning it; and he knew that Manw was bound by the commands and injunctions of Eru, and would do this or abstain from that in accordance with them, always, even knowing that Melkor would break them as it suited his purpose. Thus the merciless will ever count on mercy, and the liars make use of truth; for if mercy and truth are withheld from the cruel and the lying, they have ceased to be honoured.
Manw could not by duress attempt to compel Melkor to reveal his thought and purposes, or (if he used words) to speak the truth. If he spoke and said: this is true, he must be believed until proved false; if he said: this I will do, as you bid, he must be allowed the opportunity to fulfill his promise.
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What does the term american refers to asked the boy, and the wise man answered: Lets look at the dictionary then.
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
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Old 04-14-2003, 07:20 PM   #14
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"In this chapter we first come up on Fanor, one of the most influential and vital characters in Elvish history. Its an Elf who we readers either love or hate. But how did the Elves see him?"

It is hard to imagine how the other elves viewed him. I'm one of the readers that was not taken with Feanor. As Azalea said, I am jaded by the knowledge of the repercussions of his future deeds.
I see him as willful, standoffish and hot-tempered. But I think many of the elves would have respected his knowledge and accepted his leadership.

BTW, thank you Earniel, for presenting this chapter. Though I do not post much (I'm a bit shy in my lack of knowledge compared to the other posters), I visit here regularly and enjoy the discussions. I would have been disappointed if the project fell through.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:04 PM   #15
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:15 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Gwaimir Windgem
I don't let lack of knowledge stop me!
I only see the real brains of the Sil volunteering. Elvet has volunteered to do a chapter, and even be a standby if necessary.

Where were you when I needed you mister.
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:18 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Sister Golden Hair
I only see the real brains of the Sil volunteering. Elvet has volunteered to do a chapter, and even be a standby if necessary.

Where were you when I needed you mister.
Eek! *runs back into the library to work on Chapter 8 some more* BTW, the mostcomplimentary reference to Feanor is Gandalf's, when he wishes to see the unimaginable "hand and mind of Feanor at work". I would imagine it would have been best to observe them from the comparative safety of another Age.
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:24 AM   #18
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Originally posted by Attalus
.....I would imagine it would have been best to observe them from the comparative safety of another Age.
LOL! Great line, Attalus!
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Old 04-20-2003, 10:48 AM   #19
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Re: The Silmarillion: Ch. 6: Of Fanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

*Grin* Thanks, Rian. As for:
Quote:
Originally posted by Erniel


According to the Silmarillion one might blame his remarriage with Indis for the troubles it would cause later on. But it also states that if he hadnt remarried, history would have been denied the sons he had with Indis and a much bleaker history it would have been: no Fingolfin, no Finrod Felagund (, ), no Gondolin, no Erendil, ect Personally Im not so sure if Finws to blame. His was a rather exceptional situation with Mriel.


I really must add, NO GALADRIEL!!!
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:03 PM   #20
Maedhros
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Finw had some responsability too. From Morgoth's Ring: Of The Severance Of Marriage
Quote:
'Thus Finw was aggrieved and claimed justice. But when he called her and she did not return, in only a few years he fell into despair. Herein lay his fault, and failing in Hope. But also he founded his claim mainly upon his desire for children, considering his own self and his loss more than the griefs that had befallen his wife: that was a failing in full love.
But the fa of Mriel hath not been let in peace, and by importuning its will hath been hardened; and in that resolve it must remain without change while Arda lasteth, if the Statute is declared. Thus the impatience of Finw will close the door of life upon the fa of his spouse. This is the greater fault.
Failling from the highest hope.
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What does the term american refers to asked the boy, and the wise man answered: Lets look at the dictionary then.
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
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