Skip over navigation

Dune

Frank Herbert

Book II (continued)

Book II (continued)

Book II (continued)

From Stilgar leading Jessica and Paul to the Fremen stronghold to Lady Fenring’s plans to seduce Feyd-Rautha

Summary

Stilgar and the rest of the Fremen lead Paul and Jessica to a Fremen stronghold. Although Jessica has successfully competed against him, Stilgar advises her not to challenge his authority, because the Fremen would not trust her as a leader, as she is “not of the sand.” Stilgar reveals that the Fremen have been preparing a load of spice to use to bribe the Guild, which has a monopoly on space travel and banking. The Fremen hope that in return, the Guild will not allow the Harkonnens to establish spy satellites that could monitor the Fremen. Stilgar tells Jessica that the Fremen hope to transform Arrakis into a lush, Edenic paradise. He knows it will not happen for many generations but that it will happen in the future. To her surprise, Jessica also discovers that the Fremen travel by riding on the back of sandworms.

Stilgar realizes he must secure a place for Jessica in the Fremen society. He notes that their own reverend mother is old and may need a replacement. The idea of becoming a reverend mother shocks Jessica. Stilgar mentions the legendary prophecy that the son of a Bene Gesserit holds the key to their future, and Jessica knows she must give some sort of sign to prove she can fulfill the prophecy. She suddenly has an intuitive vision, and in a trance she recites several biblical lines that excite the Fremen. Stilgar accepts Jessica as a possible future reverend mother. Jessica does not reveal to him that she is carrying a child. Paul has prophesied that the child will be a girl and will be known as St. Alia.

Jamis, the Fremen who Paul battled on the rock zone, challenges Paul to a duel to the death. Paul reluctantly agrees; he does not want to kill anyone. Paul has a difficult time fighting Jamis in knife-to-knife combat because he is used to fighting with body energy shields. Finally, Paul kills Jamis, and the Fremen are impressed. They take Jamis away to use the water in his corpse. Stilgar gives Paul a secret Sietch Tabr name called Usul, which means the base of a pillar. Paul then chooses a name for himself, Muad’Dib, which anyone can refer to him as. Muad’Dib is the name of a mouse on Arrakis, an animal that is considered wise by the Fremen.

At Jamis’s funeral, the Fremen offer his water to Paul, and the water is later deposited in a special basin under the caverns. Afterward, Chani, Kynes’s daughter, asks Paul to play a song on Jamis’s baliset, a guitarlike instrument. He plays a love song, which disturbs Jessica; she does not want Paul consorting with a low-born Fremen woman. Paul suddenly recognizes that his mother will be responsible for causing the jihad.

Meanwhile, on the home world of the Harkonnens, Baron Harkonnen’s nephew Feyd-Rautha is set to fight in a gladiatorial ring. Visiting the baron are Count Fenring and Lady Fenring. Feyd-Rautha is smitten by Lady Fenring’s beauty. Feyd-Rautha has set up a scheme to make the gladiatorial challenge seem more dangerous than it is; his challenger will not be drugged, as usual, but will have a secret word, implanted hypnotically, that will make him immobile. The scheme has been arranged by the baron’s new Mentat, Thufir Hawat. Feyd-Rautha’s opponent in the gladiatorial ring, he discovers, is one of the former Atreides soldiers. Feyd-Rautha uses the secret word and kills the soldier, though for a moment he feels threatened. Feyd-Rautha glories in his win, while Count and Lady Fenring discuss plans for Lady Fenring to seduce Feyd-Rautha and become pregnant with his child in order to continue the Bene Gesserit genetic program.

Analysis

In this section, the Fremen officially welcome Paul into their clan, and he starts to fill the role of savior of the Fremen. Unfortunately, for Paul’s acceptance to be complete, he must kill Jamis. The ritualistic shedding of blood is a powerful step in Paul’s development: regardless of his newfound hyperintelligence, he is still only sixteen years old. Paul’s win also serves to induct him into many of the tribe’s rituals. He accepts the water that was once part of Jamis, a Fremen, and he, in turn, becomes a Fremen himself. Paul learns about the great water well, one of thousands, which will eventually be used to turn Arrakis into a Garden of Eden. The Fremen plan to save up enough water until they are able to start a complex ecological plan to change Arrakis’s climate. Also interesting is that Paul becomes part of the Fremen clan not because of his supernatural powers, logical ability, or technological know-how. Instead, Paul earns his membership in the clan when he kills another man during an almost prehistoric show of power: the duel.

Paul’s killing of Jamis is an important rite of passage. Jessica makes sure that Paul realizes the gravity of what he has done: she reminds him that he should not take pleasure in his “triumph.” For Paul, the victory is bittersweet, and he mourns the loss of Jamis, while understanding that Jamis’s death was necessary to save more lives in the end. Other rites of passage are taking place as well, as there are hints in this section of a future relationship between Chani and Paul when Paul serenades her. Paul’s connection with Chani will serve his messianic purposes—bonding with the daughter of Liet, Kynes, can only help his development as a religious leader among the Fremen.

Also in this section is a growing tension between Paul and his mother, which foreshadows the tension that would be caused by a jihad. Jessica is a Bene Gesserit. At times, she has resisted the orders and training of the Bene Gesserit, most significantly by having a boy rather than a girl, but they have always influenced her decisions. Jessica accepts her role as the mother of the savior, according to the implanted legends of the Missionaria Protectiva; thus she is strengthening her ties to the Bene Gesserit. As a result, Jessica becomes increasingly concerned about Paul and his future role in both the Fremen society and the universe as a whole. She realizes he is the Kwisatz Haderach, according to the legend of the Missionaria Protectiva, and the Bene Gesserit have very specific plans for Paul to alter the gene pool of the universe. Paul, however, knows that there can be only one result of the Bene Gesserit’s plans—war.

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!

Follow Us