Who Pushed Merlin? In "The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart"

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The most important and knowledgeable people in history are not born with their

talents or contributions. They, as everyone does, need a person to give them the option

and the encouragement to achieve their fate. In The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart portrays

the 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 some

important people, such as Tremorinus, Galapas, and Ambrosius, Merlin develops into a

intellectual and knowledgeable individual.

Sometimes all it takes to advance in knowledge is a little space. Merlin is already

a knowledgeable man when he meets Tremorinus, a master engineer, who openly

welcomes Merlin into his workshop. Merlin remarks on how Tremorinus, "allows me

to learn all I can from him, gives me space in the workshops and material to

experiment with."

(181). Merlin is able to learn a myriad of information while in

Tremorinus' presence. This space that Tremorinus gives Merlin is the right tool to entitle

Merlin to advance intellectually.

Some mentors provide the space for knowledge to grow, but others are more

effective because they set the foundation for the knowledge to develop. The personage

who is the most efficacious and who bestows the true idea of knowledge on Merlin is

Galapas. One day Merlin travels through the forest and stumbles on what looks like an

inhabited cave. In the cave Merlin meets Galapas for the first time. Galapas teaches

Merlin an innumerable amount of information, but he, 'hardly thought of [his] time with

him as lessons.' (54). The information that Merlin receives is more useful than the

subjects of languages and geometry that he learns from Demetrius, his first tutor. Merlin

learns how to; collect herbs...