hat a crazy couple of weeks for Paul and for Arrakis. Actually, I don’t know how much time passed during Book Two, but I get the feeling that it was not a long period of time. It may have been shorter than two weeks. But we read the section in two weeks, so I’m just going to go with that.
This was the setting-things-up section of the book. The first part gave us the facts about the planet and the characters. We learned of the political situation and were given some insights into what was going to happen (and some things that only might happen). This part placed all the pieces in motion. Betrayals were handed out, as were executions. Partnerships were formed, and titles were distributed. It seems that everything was laid out for the commencement of the action–the forward movement–of our last section.
I’m going to stick to my format from last time and bullet out some of the important plot points from the last ~160 pages:
- The Atreides have lost Arrakis to the Harkonnens–everyone’s believed dead except Hawat.
- Paul and Jessica survived in the open desert and were initiated into Stilgar’s Fremen tribe
- Paul > Lisan al-Gaib/Usul/Paul Muad’Dib
- Jessica > Reverend Mother
- Baron Harkonnen > Still a bastard
There is an insane amount of detail and complexity I am leaving out here, but, well there you go. The ending scene of Book Two was pretty dense with information. Jessica becoming a Reverend Mother seems to have awakened her generational insight while also awakening the child growing inside her. The spice that Jessica consumed and transformed is enjoyed by a drug in the seitch “orgy” which may be as much or more metaphysical than it is physical (though it seems that Paul and Chani–Liet-Kynes’ daughter–do get physical). The whole thing reminded me of that scene in Matrix Reloaded, except without Keanu Reeves’ naked butt.
We’re caught up to this post in DHarbin’s Dune book club. Read his stuff for more insight–and his comments for actual discussion!
Next week, we’re reading to around page 437–the chapter that begins “How often it is that the angry man…” and ends with “His body had slowly acquired…” Enjoy (I’ll round it up, I promise!)