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Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein

Chapters XXXIV–XXXV

Chapters XXXII–XXXIII

Chapters XXXIV–XXXV, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Note: These chapters begin Part Five, entitled "His Happy Destiny."

Chapter XXXIV

In Heaven, Foster informs Digby that the Martians who have been watching over Mike have "released" him, and it is now Digby's duty to watch Mike. Digby seems confused, so Foster tells him, "It's a minor martyrdom and I'll guard it myself." On Mars, the Old Ones examine the data they have garnered by reading Mike's mind since he has been on Earth. They begin to consider what is, for them, the aesthetic question of whether they should destroy the Earth. The narrator tells of recent events on Earth, including legal complaints against Mike's church.

Jubal asks Anne to bring him her newborn daughter, Abigail Zenobia, to play with. Though Anne has never told Jubal who Abigail's father is, he intuits from her middle name, Zenobia ("xenos" is a Greek root meaning "alien"), that it is Mike. Anne worries aloud that Jubal's concern for Mike's well being is causing him to become spiritually constipated. She encourages him to visit the Nest. Jubal wonders if Mike is purposefully encouraging the public persecution he endures, including several recent arrests. Jubal is beginning to dictate a story when Larry bursts in to tell them that Mike's temple has burned down.

Ben calls Jubal to reassure him that no one has been hurt, the temple was empty except for the ninth circle members, whom Mike was able to evacuate psychically. Jubal has Larry call a taxi for him. Tears in his eyes, Jubal turns to one of his sculptures—one which, to him, represents moral victory in public defeat—and speaks reassuring words to it.

Chapter XXXV

Jubal makes it to the city where the temple is situated and catches a cab. The cab driver turns out to be a follower of Mike's, who takes Jubal to a hotel where the ninth circle members have convened. Ben tells Jubal that Mike is deep in trance, but will speak with him when he emerges. Though Jubal had insisted that they remain at his house, Anne, Dorcas, and Larry have disobeyed him and come as well. Jubal asks where Abigail is, and Patty takes him to see her where she is being babysat by Patty's pet snake Honey Bun, with whom Patty has forged a psychic bond. Alongside Abigail is Fatima Michele, the daughter of Miriam and Mahmoud, who have also come to the hotel.

Miriam tells Jubal that she and Mahmoud are working on writing a Martian dictionary. Ben tells Jubal that Mike had anticipated that the temple would be destroyed, and that their important possessions were saved. Ben explains to Jubal that Mike's telekinetic powers can be learned by anyone in time, and that Mike is not actually superhuman, but just had the fortune to have learned the Martian ways.

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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.

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