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Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein

Chapters XXIV–XXVI


Chapters XXIV–XXVI, page 2

page 1 of 3

Chapter XXIV

Leaving the Tabernacle, Mike seems confused. Jubal tells Jill that he was compelled by the Fosterites' salesmanship, and that he fears them. Jill is disgusted by their vulgarity, but Jubal argues that they are no worse than any other religion. Jubal cites potentially offensive tenets of many world religions, including Christianity.

Mike, Jubal, and Jill return home, where Ben and Mahmoud have come to visit them. Mahmoud worries about Digby's possible influence on Mike; Jubal argues that Mike deserves to be exposed equally to all beliefs. Jubal knows that Mahmoud has tried to explain Islam to Mike. Jubal remarks that Mike may end up being a prophet of his own sort, and Mahmoud concurs. Mahmoud jokingly wonders aloud if he has died and gone to the Islamic Paradise, as he is surrounded by beautiful women serving food and drink in a beautiful garden. Mahmoud suggests he may hope to convert one of the girls to Islam so that he could marry her. Miriam rejects his offer, but Dorcas flirts.

Mike goes to his room and into a trance, to contemplate his interaction with Digby. He worries that he had taken an action, "wasting food," that defied Jill's instructions. But considering, Mike decides that he needed to make his difficult decision according to what he felt was right at the crucial moment, despite Jill's instructions. Mike has a stronger sense of self for trusting his own judgment. Mike feels ever surer of the assertion he has made to many: "Thou art God."

Mike runs into one of the girls in the kitchen after the rest have gone to bed, but the narrator does not specify which girl. They sit by the pool. She asks him if he is ever homesick for Mars. He says that he was initially, but now he groks that he will never be lonely again. They kiss, and then make love.

Chapter XXV

Mars is being prepared for human colonization. The Martian Old Ones give this slow consideration. The narrator tells of trivial-seeming events on Earth. A new Fosterite Supreme Bishop has been chosen to replace Digby, who has died. The Fosterites announce that Digby is now in Heaven, an Archangel beside Foster.

Foster meets Digby in Heaven. Foster still harbors some bitterness for Digby having poisoned and murdered him. Foster explains the bureaucratic rules of being an archangel. Digby submits to his new job.

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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.