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Dune

Frank Herbert

Book III (continued)

Book III

Book III (continued)

From the Fremen’s discovery of smugglers to Paul’s vision of a fleet of Harkonnen ships

Summary

The Fremen discover and capture a melange smuggling operation in their territory. The operation is led by Gurney Halleck, Paul’s old teacher and the former master-of-arms of the Atreides. Paul reveals himself to Halleck, and Halleck reaffirms his allegiance to the young duke. Paul leads Halleck and his men inside a Fremen cavern, where several of the smugglers suddenly attack since they are actually Sardaukar, the emperor’s soldiers. The Fremen kill all but a few Sardaukar and they lose only a few of their own men. Paul orders the Fremen to capture the Sardaukar, but he makes plans for them to escape and report back to the Harkonnens and the emperor about the prowess of the Fremen.

Later, Paul confronts Stilgar. He observes that Stilgar’s first instinct was to hide Chani when the Sardaukar attacked, showing how much he cares for Paul. Paul refuses to challenge Stilgar. Stilgar accepts Paul not as Usul of the Fremen, but as the duke of Arrakis. Stilgar’s next challenge is to convince the young, headstrong Fremen that there can be both a Usul and a duke of Arrakis. That way, Paul does not lose a powerful assistant like Stilgar. Meanwhile, Halleck is shocked to discover that Paul’s mother is still alive; he still believes that Paul’s mother is the person who betrayed the Atreides to the Harkonnens.

Paul speaks to a large group of Fremen en masse. They try to goad him into fighting with Stilgar, but Paul resists, telling them that he is too smart to do that. Instead, Paul accepts his religious role as the Muad’Dib, the prophetic leader; he uses this role to differentiate himself from Stilgar’s more secular position. Paul tells the Fremen that Rabban, the Harkonnen ruler of Arrakis, has been cut off by Baron Harkonnen from receiving any more supplies or reinforcements. Thus, Rabban does not have ties to the baron anymore, and the Fremen may be able to wrest control of Arrakis from the Harkonnens. The Fremen accept Paul’s new role as duke, and they are ready to fight a fierce battle.

Paul leads his mother to his quarters, where he presents Halleck to her. Halleck quickly attacks her, believing she was the traitor to the Atreides. Holding a knife to her throat, he threatens to kill her, but Paul convinces him that she is not responsible. Halleck relents, and in his shame he tries to persuade Paul to kill him, but Paul refuses.

As Halleck plays the baliset instrument at Jessica’s request, Paul goes to the place where the spice drug is made by small sandworms. He decides to drink the spice drug, as his mother did when she became the reverend mother.

Three weeks later, it appears that Paul has summoned Chani back from the south. However, it was Jessica who summoned her; Paul has been in a comalike trance for weeks. Jessica has done everything she can for him and has summoned Chani due to an inner whim. Chani realizes that Paul drank some of the spice drug and asks Jessica to quickly transform some of the drug into a safe format so that she can administer it to Paul. But at that moment, Paul wakes up, as he has changed the drug himself. He grabs Jessica’s hand and demands that she show him the inward “place where you cannot enter” at which no reverend mother ever looks. Paul then speaks of two ancient forces, “one that gives and one that takes,” the former being the main force of women and the latter of men—and only Paul can balance the two forces. Paul then explains that he has envisioned that there is a great fleet of ships above Arrakis, where the emperor and Baron Harkonnen and other houses wait to loot Arrakis.

Analysis

The events of this section demonstrate not only that Paul is at the center of the novel’s dramatic action but also that he completely controls the action. For example, Paul welcomes back his old master, Gurney Halleck, suggesting a role reversal, as if Paul is now the mentor and Halleck is the inexperienced youth. Additionally, Paul allows the Sardaukar to escape, which shows how confident he is in his own prowess and power. He feels that the Sardaukar enemies are so weak that he does not need to kill them right away. Rather, he can allow them to spread the word to the emperor about his strength and the force of the Fremen. The revelation that Paul is the Kwisatz Haderach further consolidates his potency and establishes him as a prophetic, religious leader of not just the Fremen but of the whole universe.

One way to understand Jessica’s memories of previous reverend mothers is by using the theory of the “collective unconscious,” or “racial memory,” introduced by the psychologist Carl Jung in the first half of the twentieth century. Jung suggested that all humans share very vague, broad memories from the earliest times of human evolution, when humans lived in the same area. Jung’s theory might account for why many different languages have very similar words for basic concepts such as mother and father. Jung thought that more specific memories might be passed genetically from one human to his or her offspring. This is a very broad interpretation of Jung’s theories, and it is important to note that few theorists now support these ideas. In the early 1960s, however, Jung was still somewhat in vogue, and it is possible that his theories were an inspiration for Jessica’s “racial memory” of her Bene Gesserit ancestors. That Jessica is much more aware of those memories than others is due to the effects of the spice drug.

Paul’s ability to predict the future seems more plausible, though less realistic than Jessica’s memories of reverend mothers. While it is unclear exactly how and why Paul is able to see the future whenever he consumes too much spice, it is conceivable that it is due to a heightened ability for calculation. Like a Mentat, Paul simply calculates an amazing number of variables and decides which events have the highest probability. However, this theory does not account for things that Paul could not possibly know, such as Feyd-Rautha’s name or that Alia would come to be known as St. Alia of–the–Knife. In Jessica’s and Paul’s cases, it is probably easier to accept the idea that they have magical powers, something spiritually or supernaturally based rather than based in science. However, this detracts somewhat from Dune’s status as a work of science fiction and makes it more a work of fantasy.

Paul’s differentiation along gender lines of the forces that give from the forces that take speaks to the intricate balance between women and men in Dune. Each gender is like a force in the universe, and neither has total power over the other since neither can face the other without losing something of itself. Each force, like each gender, cannot exist without the other, opposing force. Paul, however, exists above this interplay of forces. As the Kwisatz Haderach, he is the only one who can balance the logical and the intuitive, and the male and the female forces. For example, Paul can use the Voice to convince the Fremen to help fight the Sardaukar, but he must also win them over using logic. Paul’s mastery of both the female and male forces means that he can become more powerful than any other human being.

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