Racism in The Hate U Give
Lines that the novel tackles the theme of the racism and inequality
Background of African American Literature and how it shows the racial prejudice that African Americans suffer from
Summary of the novel
The writer and the book’s prizes
3- Main Text
How the novels shows inhuman and degrading treatment of the blacks
How does the title suit this story and why did the author choose it? Reference Tupac’s Thug Life.
Starr juggles Williamson prep school with Garden Heights. How hard is it to exist in two conflicting worlds?
Khalil was a gang member – why shouldn’t that matter to the press or justice system? • What choices did Khalil have to support his family once his grandmother was fired for being sick? • How do the media portray Khalil? Is this right? • Why might lesha not leave King?
Starr is taught what to do if stopped by the police. How does that make you feel?
Daddy tells Uncle Carlos: ‘If I kill Tyrone, I’m going to prison. If a cop kills me, he’s getting put on leave.’ Why does this injustice happen?
Does social media help or get in the way of achieving justice?
How do the police respond to the protests over the shooting of Khalil?
Starr says ‘Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black’. What does she mean?
Starr uses her ‘voice as a weapon for change’. Does it make a difference?
Do you notice images of silence and voice that recur?
Summary of the findings
Does the novel end ‘right’
This book is heavily influenced by the topic of race relationships in America. If Khalil had been white, would the same reaction have happened? Had the officer been black, would the situation itself have received as much attention?
I need you to insert quotations from the novel itself and from critics who wrote about racism
All the citations should be like ( last name, year, page number)
RACISM IN THE HATE U GIVE BY ANGIE THOMAS
The hate u given revolves around racism against people coming from black background in USA. Race has been always a sensitive aspect in America due to its often ugly and complex history of slavery in the nation. Racism has always been associated with power dominance and enforcement of oppression which in America is still in the hands of Whites. “The Hate U Give” as title completely justifies the theme of the novel as it has been a perfect showcase of the hatred that Starr and her associates have received from the American society.
Keywords: Racism, black background, complex history of slavery in USA, hands of Whites, showcase of the hatred
Table of Contents
Racism in The Hate U Give
a. Racial treatment in novels
b. Justification of the title
c. Conflicts of Garden heights and Williamson prep school
d. The experience of Khalil
e. Starr’s encounter with police
f. Injustice reflecting in the dialogue Daddy
G. Role of social media in achieving justice
H. Explanation of Starr’s dialogue
I. Starr to use her voice as a weapon for change
j. Recurrence of images of voice and silence
Race has been always a sensitive aspect in America due to its often ugly and complex history of slavery in United States. The Hate U give by Angie Thomas is an outstanding delineation of racism that revolves around the experience of a 16 years old girl named Starr Carter and her moves between two completely different worlds. The uneasy balance has been successfully represented between the poor neighborhood she resides and the fancy prep school she attends. Starr’s world has been shattered when she has witnessed the incident of a fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil by a police officer. However, soon after the death of Khalil, it has become the headline while people are calling him a gangbanger, drug dealer or simply a thug. Angie Thomas, the author of the novel herself is a black American and “The Hate U Give” is the most notable work of her that has won a range of awards such as “Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best”, “Audie Award for Young Adult” and “Audie Award for Best Female Narrator”.
African American literature in the form of novels, poems, short stories, plays and even in non-fiction works of memoir has encapsulated the prevalence of racism of the nation. There can be a range of literary instances dealing with particularly the controversial matter of racism. This specific novel has also encountered a series of racist comments received by its central character Starr Carter. According to the views of Wallis (2016, p.27), racism has always been associated with power dominance and enforcement of oppression which in America is still in the hands of Whites. This book is a perfect example of this. Racism in this novel has emerged at its best through the form of police brutality directly indicating the murder of unarmed Khalil by a cop in terms of presenting excessive force being a part of criminalization of black community and larger tapestry of racism in America. In the way of Starr’s father instills the knowledge of racism in Starr and her brother has been a clear indication of black individualization in American society that the novel has successfully encapsulated. On the same background, the works and experience of Tupac have greatly inspired Angie Thomas in writing the literary piece by realizing the actual condition of black communities through Tupac’s discussion of his “Thug Life” (Epicreads.com, 2018). Apart from this novel, a range of literary pieces are there such as “A dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes, “The Hidden Wound” by Wendell Berry and “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks delineating instances of racism.
The title of the story reflects the entire essence of the novel in general. “The Hate U Give” as title completely justifies the theme of the novel as it has been a perfect showcase of the hatred that Starr and her associates have received from the American society. As influenced by the views of Museus and Park (2015, p.556), racism signifies a beneficial system and power of a dominant racial group over a non-dominant racial group. This is closely related with different social factors of deprivation and hatred that the book has perfectly delineated. Tupac’s thug life has been a major inspiration for Thomas that has made a perfect reflection in naming the central character as a tribute to the wish of Tupac to name his daughter Starr. The portrayal of the character of “Big Mav” has a great similarity with Tupac Shakur inspiring Starr to protest against the injustice throughout the novel (Epicreads.com, 2018). A sense of hatred and injustice has been surfaced and penetrated all over the novel which the title of the work has greatly justified (Brooks et al. 2015, p.711).
Although Starr has been rooted up in Garden Height, she along with her brother has attended Williamson prep school that holds two completely different culture and environment. Starr has to juggle between these two lives. As a common phenomenon, Starr has known that she is judged differently because of her background. As influenced by the views of Loewen (2018, p.36), racism in America has come up with the concept of majority black schools. In such case, being in a fancy school of white people, Starr has come across different kinds of unethical treatments and behaviors. Belonging from a majority black community to attend a posh suburban school, she has been in a great dilemma and as a result of this, she takes in split personalities. In William Prep school Heights she tends to speak and act completely different from her actual self of Garden Heights (Thomas, 2017, p.45). This has carried out a sense of dual personality and conflicting nature that Starr holds.
The actual essence of racism has been displayed in a form of police brutality in this novel. Whether Khalil is gangster or not is still is a mystery. The criminalization of young black men in American society gives rise to the repetitive occurrences of Khalil’s story. In the opinion of Vaught (2014, p.87), institutional racism refers to the system, political outset, practices, policies and behaviors that specifically disadvantage a particular racial group. This has been a seeming aspect in Khalil’s matter as the entire system starting from media to police has turned against Khalil in terms of being more inclined to portray him as a gangbanger and drug dealer. After Khalil’s grandmother has been fired, Khail just starts up with selling drugs once to pay back the debt of his mother to king. However, this cannot lead to a brutal death of Khalil. The media coverage has been more eager to reflect a sympathetic side for the police officer rather than standing up for the injustice faced by Khalil.
From the beginning, Starr has been raised with the installation of racism as a manifestation of American society. Her father has a powerful influence in raising her right and always makes her aware of the current status of the American society in terms of providing her with a clear account of behaviors and unethical approaches that black community receive. In the opinion of Mahavijit (2017, p.15), racism has been a combination of different practices, social relations and beliefs that work together to produce a racial hierarchy yielding privilege and superiority for some and oppression and discrimination for others. In this novel, it has been captured so well that it almost gives rise to a picturesque view of racism. When she is only 12, her parents have given instructions about what to do if a cop stops her. The best advice has been to keep her hands visible along with not to make a sudden move. This has really been a traumatic situation for black people to be always in a situation that might harm them. This has been a great portrayal of racism that continuously affects the part of the lives of black community in America (Tatonetti, 2014, p.45). According to the views of Stevens-Watkins et al. (2014, p.15), racism has a close relation with the psychological distress of African American women. Hence, it can be greatly assumed that for Starr as well racism has caused severe mental pressure and psychological distress.
Starr has experienced his daddy to tell his uncle about the effect if he kills Tyrone. Carlos is a cop and perhaps in search of a justified societal effect on every citizen of the nation Big Mav has made the query. It has been a severe issue of racism that has run throughout the story of the novel. The unethical behavior, oppression and deprivation in all segments have been there in a great deal for the life of Starr and her acquaintances (Black et al. 2015, p.15). Hence, experiencing the injustice experienced all levels of society; Starr’s father has stated this. Reference of Khalil’s dearth can be made here that determines the degree of truth of Starr’s father’s comment as police killing Khalil has been put on leave. This has been a great revelation
of injustice made on black community of the America by majorly the white people and as well as by the total societal system (Academia.edu, 2018).
Social media is the best platform of gathering information related to injustice of as person and right of every human being of a country. As per views of Bonilla and Rosa (2015, p.14), social media in gaining knowledge is based on fundamental principles of all democracies. Along with that, social media provides details information which is fair and accurate. Therefore, from the following point of view, it is clear that, social media presents information related to justice due to having different views of multicultural people (influenced by Gerbaudo, 2018, p.66).
Starr becomes more engaged for the purpose of fighting against the injustice and racism. Moreover, Starr stated that “As long I play it cool and keep myself, I should be fine- I am cool by default because I’m one of the only black kids there” (Grady, 2018). Moreover, Starr has focused more on keeping own selves coolness for the purpose of avoiding difficulties in Garden heights. Initially Starr has decided to join in the protest for the purpose of getting justice against Khalil. However, later Starr has analyzed the incident and decided to stop thinking about participation in the protest (Tatum, 2018, p.123). Due to which, Starr has stated that being a only one black people in the class and getting injustice against the racism, staying coolness is effective way.
Later on Starr has decided to rise own voice for the purpose of changing whole scenario based on racism in the classroom against black people. Moreover, Starr has analyzed ongoing event and discussed by the following way. “This is about one-fifteen, those detectives with their bullshit questions, and those cops who made daddy lie on the ground”.
From the following quotes, it is clear that injustice is continuously occurred against common people of a country. Due to belonging from black background, starr has faced racism in classroom (Thomas, 2017, p.33). After death of Khalil, Starr has decided to join in the protest and rise own voice for the reason of injustice. She has tried to raise voice as a weapon for injustice and racism in the class against her which have to be changed immediately for getting proper justice.
It can be noticed that images of voice has been recurred continuously with Starr due to becoming from black background. Starr has decided to go for doing protest in the city for the purpose of getting justice (Ford, 2018). However, later she has decided to stop doing protest due to leaving the fact on other people of the nation. As stated by Grady (2018), images of voice have been recurrence due to stopping about think of protesting in the city. However, later Starr has analyzed the incident and decided to stop thinking about participation in the protest (Thomas, 2017, p.33). Due to which, Starr has stated that being a only one black people in the class and getting injustice against the racism, staying coolness is effective way.
Considering all the facts and occurrences of the events taken place in the plot, it can be concluded that racism exists in every layer of American society. Police brutality in terms of oppression made by governmental system has been the predominant factor in this specific novel by Angie Thomas. Hence, a close evaluation of the study can give rise to a certain belief that if Khalil has not been a black society would have responded in a completely different manner. The reaction and coverage of media might have portrayed the incident in a more sympathetic manner towards Khalil and his family. The accusation might have been a little lighter while a sharp hatred can be set upon the police officer for killing an unarmed young man. Hence, casting a look upon all these, it can be stated that American society is still now struggling with the fact of racism.
Academia.edu (2018), Racism, Sexism and African-American Literature, Available at: http://www.academia.edu/9846559/Racism_Sexism_and_African-American_Literature [Accessed on 2/1/2019]
Black, L.L., Johnson, R. and VanHoose, L., 2015. The relationship between perceived racism/discrimination and health among black American women: a review of the literature from 2003 to 2013. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, 2(1), pp.11-20.
Bonilla, Y. and Rosa, J., 2015. Ferguson: Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States. American Ethnologist, 42(1), pp.4-17.
Brooks, C.M., Daschuk, M.D., Poudrier, J. and Almond, N., 2015. First Nations youth redefine resilience: listening to artistic productions of ‘Thug Life’and hip-hop. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(6), pp.706-725.
Epicreads.com (2018), Here’s How Tupac Inspired The Hate U Give, Available at: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/tupac-thug-life-hate-u-give/ [Accessed on:2/1/2019]
Ford, C.T. (2018). The Complexity of Black Girlhood Is at the Heart of The Hate U Give. [Online] Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/10/the-hate-u-give-movie-starr-carter-black-girlhood/573319/ [Accessed on: 04/01/19]
Gerbaudo, P., 2018. Tweets and the streets: Social media and contemporary activism. Pluto Press: London
Grady, C. (2018), Social issues YA novels can be terrible. The Hate U Give is a stunning exception. [Online] Available at: https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/3/30/15074998/the-hate-u-give-angie-thomas-review [Accessed on: 04/01/19]
Loewen, J.W., 2018. Sundown towns: A hidden dimension of American racism. US: The New Press.
Mahavijit, K., 2017, The Operation of Racism in American Short Stories by African American Writers, Chulalongkorn University,pp.1-17.
Museus, S.D. and Park, J.J., 2015. The continuing significance of racism in the lives of Asian American college students. Journal of College Student Development, 56(6), pp.551-569.
Stevens-Watkins, D., Perry, B., Pullen, E., Jewell, J. and Oser, C.B., 2014. Examining the associations of racism, sexism, and stressful life events on psychological distress among African-American women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(4), pp.1-18
Tatonetti, L., 2014. The queerness of Native American literature. Minnesota:U of Minnesota Press.
Tatum, A.W., 2018. Texts’ Distant Shores: Philosophy in and Philosophy Out. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62(1), pp.115-117.
Thomas, A., 2017. The hate u give. Munich: cbt Verlag.
Vaught, S., 2014. Tupac’s Law: Incarceration, THUGLIFE, and the Crisis of Black Masculinity. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 2(2), pp.87-115.
Wallis, J., 2016. America’s original sin: Racism, white privilege, and the bridge to a new America. Michigan: Brazos Press.
Cancer in Literature
Many writers portray the experience of going through cancer with hope
Keyword – 5
Background of how diseases like plague and tuberculosis were portrayed in literature in the past with examples of certain novels that depict those diseases
How cancer becomes the disease of the age with statistics fully cited
The goals of writing about cancer in novels
Portraying cancer in The Fault in our Stars, and does the novel stimulate hope and support patients; how does the patient feel, what are the factors that support him
Portraying cancer in How to Climb the Eiffel Tower, and does the novel stimulate hope and support patients; how does the patient feel, what are the factors that support him
Portraying cancer in Strength Renewed, and does the novel stimulate hope and support patients; how does the patient feel, what are the factors that support him
Summary of the findings
CANCER IN LITERATURE
The idea of fictional books for cancer patients grows within many writers when the writer or his loved ones face these diseases. Some of them find it as too close to their daily struggles. Thereby, they focus on finding hope through analysing levity of their own lives. The writers try to find credibility in the stories and it gradually helps to develop a sense of upliftment. Moreover, the writers express their own views regarding the ways they have found while dealing with a critical situation. The situation arises in maintaining relationship with cancer patients. Basically a poet or author tries to communicate with his inner world through his writings and in this regard, various phenomenon related to cancer are described through the way they follow to enjoy life. Hence, the following assignment sheds light on describing the views of various writers on facing “cancer” through various innovative ways to raise hope for the readers and many individuals.
Table of Contents
The fault in our Stars
How to Climb the Eiffel Tower
Various literatures have been dealing with diseases long back in which the impact of the complex diseases like tuberculosis and plagues on the daily life of an individual are most common. Most literatures are Tuberculosis is the widely used diseases in the history of literature due to their commonality. Tuberculosis was the disease which was long believed to have a link with aesthetic qualities. “Half in Love with Easeful Death’ is beautiful writing that depicts the literature on tuberculosis. Clark Lawlor mentioned in his book ” Consumption and Literature’ about the mystery of the disease. The diseases like cancer are caused due to the excessive and uncontrollable growth of the abnormal cells. Cancer mostly affects the person in childhood. As opined by Patnaik (2016, p.52), there are many causes for the occurrence of cancer as identified, which includes the lifestyle mainly the food habits. The other causes of cancer are the factors which are not modified like that of the hormones, immune coordination and inherited genes (Sanatani et al. 2018). More than 15.5 million Americans are reported to have a history of cancer in which about 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer in the year 2018. Around 609,640 Americans have lost their lives in cancer which can be translated to 1670 people dying every day (cancer.org, 2019).
The assignment deals with the portraying of cancer in literature. It consists of the background that arises in different diseases like that of plague and tuberculosis and their description in different literature in the past time with reference to novels describing these diseases. The assignment also consists of statistic showing the ways cancer has become a disease of the age and the goals of writing novels about cancer.
The different novels and stories on the life of the people suffering from cancer had been helpful in highlighting the feeling of the person feels when they suffer from such life taking diseases. The novels are also helpful in understanding the mindset of the people and also the people connected to a person are also affected.
Portrayal of cancer in the Fault in our Stars
The beautiful writing of John Green in the novel The Fault in Our Stars show that the two people fall in love. The novel makes the reader laugh, cry and even more. The novel is about life and death and the people who are catches between the two. The story is a brilliant piece of writing on the suffering of the people when they are diagnosed with life taking the disease and the way it affects the person concerned with them (Gautam, 2016, p.26). The story is basically about a girl who is dying and then she meets a hot boy and they admit their love for each other. As mentioned by Gautam (2016, p.26), the boy and the girl have a physical relationship and then they face a horrible twist in their life. Hazel Grace was an average looking teenager who was affected with cancer and her lungs were also not working properly. One day she catches the eye with a boy named Augustus and become a flirtatious friend. Hazel shares her likes and dislikes with Augustus and they become close to each other (Kiernan, 2016, p.130). They went to Amsterdam and spend beautiful time with each other but then they meet Peter Van Houten and things did not go according to the plan after that.
Peter was the writer of Hazel’s favorite book and wanted to discuss the end of the book with her. He was a mean drinker and did not answer any of the questions of Hazel. The death of Augustus fills Hazel with grief and at his funeral; she gets to see Peter Van Hunter and comes to know that Augustus was writing something for her before he died. Hazel encounters that he wrote the book An Imperial Affliction as his daughter dies because of cancer. Later she learned from Lidewij that Augustus wrote a eulogy for her and has sent it to Peter Van Houten. The end of the book is with Hazel reading the eulogy of her favorite book which includes that she was happy with the choice that she made.
As opined by Kiernan (2016, p.130), the patients that are suffering from cancer are very sensitive and the people connected to them also become very particular with them. They want to full fill all their wishes and want to do all that is possible for their happiness.
Depiction of cancer in how to Climb the Eiffel Tower
The novel ‘How to Climb the Eiffel Tower’, by Elizabeth Hein is a beautiful depiction of a patient suffering from cancer. Lara Blaine was in the belief that she was successful in hiding her past by the adoption of strict routine at work and lots of exercises. Everything was going fine she was self-imposed and isolated until when she was diagnosed by the life taking diseases cancer. The years when Lara was undergoing her treatment for cancer would have been her worst years of life but instead, it became the year when she learned to live in a true sense. She made friends with Jane who was another cancer patient and he taught her the ways in which she can be powerful even when the people are in face to face with death. Jane taught Lara to accept help from the people around her which allows making her past comfortable. Lara discovered that she is not alone in the world and there were people around her who cared for her and were concerned about her health. Seeking help from people around her makes many new friendships and Lara gathers the courage to face the world and is motivated to live a happy life without fear about death. Lara gathers the courage to love and life a new and happy life. Climbing the Eiffel Tower is the simile used to express the joy of new life as experienced by Lara in the company of Jane. The years which Lara spends with Janes include all the tough times, pains and all is totally worth at the end (goodreads.com, 2019).
Life becomes a little easy when a person with a similar situation is with us. The courage of facing the world becomes double. Two people in the same situation can understand each other’s perception better. The patients suffering from cancer need the motivation to fight the life taking diseases. The love and affection from the surrounding people help the patient to deal with the situation in a better way. Elizabeth Hein is herself the survivor of cancer and thus is able to describe the fight that the person both internally and externally goes through while suffering from cancer. The tile has a very significant meaning with the plot of the story. The joy one gets on climbing the Eiffel Tower is similar to what Lara gets on able to live a happy life with Jane who was in a similar situation like that of her. ‘Lara is 29 and leads a very solitary life’, this very line shows how lonely she was and that she has no one to reality on. Her loneliness and her nightmares remind of her past which she thought has hidden successfully (goodreads.com, 2019).
The book is able to connect with the readers as it beautifully describes the situation the patient faces and the feeling that arises in them. As stated by Wozniak et al. (2015, p.32), the writer is able to write in details about the situation and physiology that are faced by the cancer patients as she was herself a cancer survivor.
The patients feel supportive and courageous when they get someone in the similar situation, love, affection and the feeling of concern is the important factors that support the patients and motivates them to live a happy life (goodreads.com, 2019).
Portrayal of cancer in Strength Renewed
In this book, author portrayed her own journey during her diagnosis with the breast cancer to motivate other cancer patients along with her. Each chapter of the book starts with the scripture and brief thought that drives the thought of cancer patients along with the writer. Along with that, communicating the news of diagnosis and the journey of cancer can help other patients to motivate themselves. This book is filled with hope and inspiration for those who are going through the cancer valley. Along with that, this book is written primarily for the patients and for their loved ones who are also experiencing the same trauma as the patients. In addition to that, some thoughts were provoking questions to the answers either were mentally or were written in the book (Corder, 2012, p.21).
This book provides hope and support to the cancer patients as it shows the experience of a cancer patient who is going through the same mental trauma. Along with that, the author combines her personal journey with the life-giving passages for the Bible that helps other cancer patients to gain hope and find encouragement along with the journey of cancer. Hope provides significant motivational and coping factor to an individual. In this context, cancer in literature is showing the mental, physical and emotional journey of a patient to which other cancer patients can relate. This connection imparts a positive influence within the patient and encourages them to fight the disease. Meditation brings mental peace to patients who are going through trauma after diagnosed with cancer. Along with that, portraying cancer in the Strength Renewed is encouraging the people with daily devotional scriptures. In this book, each meditation concludes with a short prayer that helps an individual to bring peace in their mind.
In addition to that, this book also provides positive motivation by portraying that cancer is not the end and one should not be ashamed of having cancer. This book shows 90 days journey of the author, which in turn helps the people to process their prognosis and to find encouragement. Along with that, according to Corder (2012, p.23), meditations combine Scriptures and author’s own stories can move the readers who are going through a typical cancer journey from diagnosis through treatment.
In this book, the author who is a registered nurse was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a survivor of this breast cancer and throughout the book, she wrote about experiences of a cancer patient from the diagnosis through treatment. As stated by Gorman (2018, p.3), psychological issues affect the patient in all stages of cancer. In this book the writer shows, apart from the mental trauma that a patient gets from the news of cancer diagnosis, the patient also faces other challenges with it. Along with that, Corder (2012, p.21) said that cancer brings unhappiness in life but with the proper support from the family and friends anyone can overcome the negativity of cancer. In addition to that, she also speaks about that faith in God can help an individual as it gives them courage to fight this disease. Apart from that, she also advises in her book that after knowing about cancer the patients should not isolate themselves from the others.
Cancer is the life taking disease and is very effective not only to the health of the person but also the people who are connected to them. It is very important for the person to be motivated and supportive towards the people suffering from cancer. The treatment of the cancer is very painful and the courage of the people dies before they die physically. The proper living environment and being surrounded by people who are supportive is very important. The main reason for cancer is the improper lifestyle. The statistics of the people suffering from cancer is huge and the implication of the concepts related to the diseases is because of the proportion of people suffering through cancer. The person diagnosed with the diseases needs to treat with care and needs constant courage and motivation. The person who is connected to a person is trying all possible way to make the person suffering from cancer happy. They try all they can to make the wish of the person come true. The wish of the person becomes important for the people connected to them. The love is the best strength that the person gets when they are morally down and death is knocking at their door. They lose all the hopes and are unable to live a happy life.
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Sanatani, M., Schreier, G., and Stitt, L., (2018), Level and direction of hope in cancer patients: an exploratory longitudinal study, [Online], Available at: http://www.cancersupport4u.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/tcs-leveldirection_of_hope.pdf [Accessed on: 01/01/2019]
Wozniak, M.B., Scelo, G., Muller, D.C., Mukeria, A., Zaridze, D. and Brennan, P., (2015). Circulating microRNAs as non-invasive biomarkers for early detection of non-small-cell lung cancer. PloS one, 10(5), pp.0125026.
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