© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land


by Robert A. Heinlein

Jubal Harshaw Timeline and Summary

  • Jubal first meets Jill and Mike while Jill is dragging Mike's body around in a suitcase. He accepts them into his home. (Hmmm.)
  • Knowing Douglas and his cronies will be coming for Mike, Jubal creates a publicity trap for them. Then he waits for the trap to spring. 
  • In the meantime, he teaches Mike about human society and customs, and Mike teaches Jubal about Martian world views. Ah, cultural exchange.
  • Through shrewd negotiations, Jubal manages to politically maneuver Douglas into an interplanetary conference and also force him to return Ben Caxton. Lawyered!
  • Ben is delivered to Jubal's house. The next day, Jubal convinces Ben not to try to defame Douglas.
  • At the conference, Jubal gives Joe Douglas the position of treasurer to the Man from Mars. This political move keeps Mike's money safe and also gets Douglas off Mike's back.
  • Jubal travels with Mike to the Fosterite tabernacle. Although he finds Fosterism unappealing, he keeps a cool head throughout the proceedings. This is where he meets Dawn Ardent for the first time.
  • Next up, Jubal discusses Mike's plans to leave the house, and he suggests that Mike take a companion.
  • After Ben's visit to the Church of All Worlds, Jubal listens to his complaints. He suggests that it was jealousy that clouded Ben's judgment about the whole affair. He also bets that Ben will go back there and become a full-fledged member. Turns out to be easy money.
  • After the Church of All Worlds burns down, Jubal rushes to help Mike. In the inner circle, he discovers he's a bit of a celebrity as Mike claims he's the only man who can grok fully without knowing the Martian language. Dawn seduces him that evening.
  • The next day, he and Mike have a heart to heart. Jubal shows Mike that he's not a failure by pointing to his success in doing the impossible.
  • After Mike's murder, Jubal attempts suicide, but he is visited by Mike's ghost or spirit and is saved.
  • Jubal groks Mike in fullness in the Martian sense, i.e., he eats Mike broth. Jubal explains to everyone just how airtight Mike's will is and offers them his house as a place to stay until they decide their next move.
  • On the way home, Jubal begins writing a story titled, "A Martian Named Smith." We wonder what that one's about.