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Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein

Chapters XII–XIII

Chapters IX–XI

Chapters XII–XIII, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter XII

Anne, a certified Fair Witness, dons her robe to observe the demonstration of Mike's powers that Jubal has requested. Jill enters Jubal's study and tells him that Mike will be up momentarily, when he is dressed. Jubal says that Mike need not get dressed for this demonstration, but Jill insists that Mike learn Earth customs. Jubal relents, deciding that knowledge of customs is a necessity, but Jubal insists that Mike be taught cynicism toward arbitrary morality and etiquette.

Jubal explains that he has had cameras set up in the room, which will broadcast signals to stereovision networks should anyone try to break in and harm them. Jubal turns on these cameras to record Mike's demonstration. Mike arrives and Jubal asks Jill and his secretaries if any of them have been sleeping with Mike, but none have. Mike tells Jubal about what he has learned from his reading. Mike is confused about the ending of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and he asks Jubal to ask Romeo personally to explain. Jubal explains that he cannot speak to Romeo, as Romeo is a fictional character. Mike does not understand the concept of "fiction," and he wonders if the Old Ones of Mars could grasp such an idea.

Jubal asks Mike about making Berquist and the officer disappear. Mike is unable to explain what he did, as there are not words in English for it. Jubal asks Mike to make a box disappear. Mike asks if the box is a "wrong thing," for he will only make wrong things disappear. Jubal asks Jill to throw the box at his head and Mike indeed makes it disappear in mid-air. Jubal asks Mike how close to something he needs to be to exercise this power. Mike explains that it is not a matter of distance but of knowledge of wrongness.

Jubal throws an ashtray up in the air over his own head. This time, Mike mentally halts the ash tray's fall, leaving it to hover. Mike expresses remorse for having made Berquist and the officer disappear and Mike calls his actions "wasting food." Jubal reassures him that he did the right thing. Jubal has Mike move the floating ashtray, and tests the limits of Mike's telekinesis.

Jubal asks Jill to try to learn the Martian language as to better communicate with Mike. Jubal instructs Mike to use his powers to protect Jill again if need be. Jubal asks for one more demonstration: to make a gun disappear from his hand. Before Jubal picks up the gun he makes it very clear that he does not want Mike to make him disappear, and Mike says that he would not waste Jubal as food. Rather, he looks forward to eating Jubal's corpse when he dies.

Chapter XIII

Duke, the man responsible for keeping all of the technology in Jubal's house in working order, privately expresses his discomfort with Mike to Jubal. Duke is offended by the cannibalism implicit in Mike's desire to eat Jubal's corpse when he dies. Duke says he will not eat at the same table as Mike anymore. Jubal is angered by Duke's provincialism and prejudice, and fires him.

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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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