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This is a sentence from the fifth story in キノの旅, which is 大人の国. For context, the narrator is talking about a time when she was a kid and she said something about the "surgery" that offended her parents. Everyone in the country has a surgery to become an adult when they turn 12.

子供だから戯言を言っただけとは思えないほど、彼らにはそれが重要なことだったのだと思う。今までみんなが、そして何より自分達が無理矢理されたことを、抵抗ができなかったからこそ素晴らしいことと思い込む。心の平穏を保つための防衛手段だったのではなかったかと。

I find this whole section pretty difficult, and it's hard for me to say exactly which part I'm confused about. I'm assuming それ refers to the surgery (and not, for example, what she said to her parents). If that seems wrong please correct me.

How should I parse the second sentence? Are みんなが and 自分達が part of the clause that ends with 無理矢理された? Are they the subject of 思い込む? Does 自分達が無理矢理されたこと mean "what was done to them against their will"? And why does the sentence end with the dictionary form 思い込む rather than something like 思い込んでいたのだろう?

Sorry for asking so many questions! Feel free to just answer whichever questions seem most important.

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I don't know what それ refers to without reading the previous context.

{今までみんなが、そして何より自分達が無理矢理されたこと}、抵抗ができなかったからこそ{素晴らしいこと}思い込む。

The basic structure of this sentence is AB思い込む, which means "to (wrongly) assume A as B", "to make a false assumption that A is B", "to convince oneself that A is B", etc. See this answer for the A + を + B + (だ)と + verb pattern. A is the object of 思い込む because it's clearly marked with を. The implied subject is adults in the country, who already underwent the surgery.

You have correctly parsed the A part. 「今までみんなが、そして何より自分達が無理矢理されたこと」 means "the thing forcibly done to everyone, more importantly, themselves (=adults)".

思い込む is in the dictionary form because it makes the sentence sound more vivid and dramatic than the teiru-form or the past tense (i.e., historical present).


My translation attempt:

今までみんなが、そして何より自分達が無理矢理されたことを、抵抗ができなかったからこそ素晴らしいことと思い込む。
(Adults in this country) convinced themselves that what had been forcibly done to everyone, including themselves, was a wonderful thing — exactly because they could not resist it.

  • Thank you, that's helpful. After thinking about it more, I suspect that the implied subject of 思い込む is the narrator's parents, rather than all adults. I think 彼ら and 自分達 are also the parents. That would seem to make sense in context. – ignorantFid Aug 15 at 14:43
  • @ignorantfid Okay, that seems reasonable, too. – naruto Aug 15 at 14:46

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