Study Guide

Dune Book I, Chapter 22

By Frank Herbert

Book I, Chapter 22

  • Paul and Jessica sit in a stilltent. The ornithopter following them had been piloted by none other than Duncan Idaho, so Yueh's plan did work.
  • Jessica explains to Paul why Yueh betrayed them, but Paul is only surprised his mother that has taken this long to realize it.
  • After reading Yueh's letter, Paul realizes he should be feeling something for his father's death. Instead, he's only calculating, adding facts together. His father's death is one such fact right now.
  • Using a small radio, Paul and Jessica discover that the Sardaukar are pretending to be Atreides men and sacking the Carthag and Guild Banks. Paul understands the plan. If the Spacing Guild is against House Atreides, then their people will be stuck on Arrakis where they will be exterminated.
  • Paul mentally catalogues all the equipment needed to survive in the desert. The list is insanely long. The Things They Carried long. Okay, not quite that long.
  • Paul changes the subject to desert power. The desert technology the Fremen have created suggests they are a power far greater than anyone had previously thought.
  • When Jessica wonders how they could hide such a power, Paul points out the obvious. They're paid up with the right people, namely the Spacing Guild.
  • Jessica reminds him he's not a Mentat yet, but Paul says he's something else: a freak.
  • Seeing she can do nothing for her son, Jessica reads the "Manual of the Friendly Desert." The writing style suggests the Bene Gesserit Manipulator of Religions has been on Arrakis. Make a note of this; it'll be important in the next section.
  • Paul calms down and relays his father's message to Jessica.
  • Jessica knew her love never mistrusted her but cries at the message all the same, thinking it a terrible waste of moisture.
  • While his mother grieves, Paul performs a type of calculating meditation. He sees people and places and cultures. He sees a spectrum of possibilities, the available paths of the future.
  • Paul senses the change in himself and asks his mother if she knew what he'd become when she trained him.
  • Jessica says she only wanted the best for Paul, but Paul informs her that the sleeper has awakened in him.
  • Paul tells his mother some of the things he sees in his waking dream. For starters, they'll never leave Arrakis. The spice has changed them like a poison—so cancel those vacation plans, because they cannot live without the stuff. Not now, not ever.
  • Next, Paul tells Jessica they'll find a home among the Fremen where the Bene Gesserit's Missionair Protectiva will allow them to play the role of religious prophecy come to life. Got to love those Bene Gesserit plans.
  • Jessica recognizes the look in Paul's face. It comes from a child who has witnessed a terrible tragedy and has been forced to understand his own mortality (22.168).
  • Jessica brings up the Harkonnens, but Paul's not done dishing out the revelations.
  • In a total "No, I am Your Father" moment, Paul says that he and Jessica are Harkonnens. Jessica is the Baron's own daughter, Paul his grandson. Man, soap operas have nothing on Herbert's plots!
  • Jessica is astounded, thinking her son the Kwisatz Haderach, but Paul brushes the thought aside. He's something completely unexpected. A seed (22.192).
  • Paul has another waking dream. This time, a warrior religion spreads across the universe underneath the Atreides banner, a jihad. Paul thinks he cannot choose that way.
  • Jessica asks if he's sure the Fremen will give them sanctuary. Paul says he'll call himself Muad'Dib, "The One Who Points the Way" (22.202).
  • Afterward, Paul mourns his father's death.