Study Guide

Dune Book I, Chapter 8

By Frank Herbert

Book I, Chapter 8

  • Jessica bumps into Dr. Yueh outside Paul's room. He looks a little disheveled. Perhaps it's a little space lag from the move, or maybe it's all that traitorous intent—one or the other.
  • The good doctor informs Jessica her son is resting and realizes he called his Lady by her first name.
  • Yueh tries to apologize, but Jessica will have none of it. They've known each other long enough to let something like that slide…in private that is.
  • Jessica wonders what Yueh was doing, and he tells her he was watching the people out the window.
  • The two look down on a scene of Arrakians walking by some date palms. Yueh tells Jessica some are looking at the date palms in the hope that they'll produce food. Others scorn the trees, since they consume so much water.
  • Yueh secretly wishes he could hate the Atreides. Boy, that sure would make things easier for him, huh?
  • Jessica peeks in on Paul, and Yueh informs her he gave the boy a sedative to help relax him.
  • They continue their talk, questioning where the water went on Arrakis. The planet's atmosphere and geology suggest the presence of water, but there's nothing there now.
  • Jessica suggests the Harkonnens left questions that need investigating, and Yueh's hatred for the House presents itself in his voice.
  • Yueh tries to speak of his wife but can't. Jessica assumes the Harkonnens killed Yueh's wife and apologizes for opening an old wound.
  • More talking. Yueh thinks about the old feud between the houses. It's the feud that spun the web that brought him here.
  • Yueh asks Jessica another question: why hasn't the Duke married her? Wow.
  • Jessica says as long as the Duke remains unmarried, the other houses will believe there is a chance of alliance through marriage. Jessica finds the thought "cynical toward humanity" but knows she can't force the issue (7.110).
  • Jessica and Yueh part ways. Jessica thinks about how good of a friend Yueh is. Yueh wishes there were a way for him not to do what he knows he must. Mmm, tasty irony.