Skip over navigation

Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein

Chapters XXX–XXXI

Chapters XXVII–XXIX

Chapters XXX–XXXI, page 2

page 1 of 3
Summary

Note: These chapters begin Part Four, entitled "His Scandalous Career."

Chapter XXX

The narrator tells of developments in the galaxy, including the arrival of human colonists on Mars. We are given a summary of Mike's recent adventures. Mike had joined and been thrown out of a seminary. Mike had then anonymously joined the army and been kicked out. Mike had then founded his own church, The Church of All Worlds. He had told Jubal that the idea had come from something Jubal had said during a conversation about theology; Jubal was horrified.

Ben visits Jubal. Jubal shows Ben his new sculpture gallery, which features the Rodin sculpture of a wrinkled old woman that Mike had bought for Jubal. Jubal lectures Ben on the beauty of the sculpture, suggesting that Rodin has captured the tragedy of female aging—one can see the young spirit trapped in the old body. Jubal shows Ben a sculpture of "The Little Mermaid," the character from the Hans Christian Andersen story. Jubal likens the Little Mermaid to Mike, having given up her birth realm for a new home, and having to suffer for her choice.

Jubal tells Ben that Mahmoud and Miriam are engaged, and that two of Jubal's three secretaries are pregnant; Jubal is cagey about revealing which two. Jubal is uncertain who has fathered the babies, though Mike seems to be an obvious candidate. When Ben suggests that Jubal may be a candidate as well, Jubal rebuts that he has no interest in sleeping with his secretaries. At his age, he believes that they would only be interested in him out of pity, and he would rather maintain his dignity.

Ben has been upset by a recent visit to Mike's temple. He asks Jubal if they have any legal recourse, via Douglas, to shut the church down. Ben begins to tell Jubal of his experience.

Chapter XXXI

The narration in this chapter shifts back and forth between Ben and Jubal discussing his experience visiting Mike and present tense third person narration of the events Ben recalls.

More Help

Previous Next
Apollo =/= Mars

by Brags753, July 10, 2013

The summary incorrectly states that Apollo is the Greek "word" for Mars. Actually, Ares is the Greek name for the god known as Mars in Latin.

Apollo is one of the few classical gods known by nearly the same name in Greek and Latin. In English, he is called Apollo in both contexts.

Follow Us