Study Guide

Dune Book I, Chapter 4

By Frank Herbert

Book I, Chapter 4

  • Thufir Hawat enters the training room to see Paul studying. The old Mentat is a little peeved that Paul has his back to the door, but Paul claims he heard Hawat's footsteps coming from down the hallway.
  • They talk of the move to Arrakis. Hawat tells the boy he should only mourn the loss of friends and family. Places are just that—places. We wonder if that whole friends and family part is a bit of foreshadowing?
  • Paul tells Hawat about his reading on the bad storms of Arrakis. Hawat informs the lad that the sand can strip flesh from bone. So "bad" is an understatement, then?
  • Paul and Hawat discuss the Fremen and talk about how precious water is on Arrakis. As the Duke's son, Paul will never want for a drink, but he'll see thirst all around him.
  • To exhaust all possible conversation points, they also discuss the Reverend Mother, who told Paul that he needed to unlearn how to rule. Hawat thinks she was pretty on the mark about that.
  • Hawat bids Paul a goodbye, assuring him that they'll meet again on Arrakis.
  • Next comes Gurney Halleck. He's here to teach Paul today's sparring lesson. The two crack wise like old friends before they fight each other. All work and no play, right?
  • Paul says he's not in the mood to fight, but Gurney attacks him anyway, teaching Paul to "fight when the necessity arises" (4.98).
  • Paul and Gurney tie in their sparring match. Gurney asks Paul to explain the mood he suddenly has. Paul says he just wished there was more time for play since everything has become so serious lately.
  • Gurney tells the boy that he wishes there was time for play, too, but they are going to Arrakis, and Arrakis is no game. Oh yeah? Then how do you explain this?
  • Gurney has Paul practice on the sparring dummy while he laments the fact that Paul has to grow up.